Keratan Akhbar
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Xavier Jayakumar sand

KUALA LUMPUR: The government plans to map and tap sources of underground water, says Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar.

The moves comes after it was revealed that the nation is relying on only 5% of water sources available although 95% of the country's water remain untapped underground.

"We have a large volume of underground water.

"We haven't actually tapped that source at all," he said at the launching of the Water Asset Revenue Management System for Smart Water Grid Networks here on Monday (May 27).

He said that plans would involve the use of 4D aerial digital mapping of critical areas in the country.

"From there, we will know where the underground water is.

"Then we will decide how to use the underground water as a raw water source," he added.

Dr Xavier said that the mapping would be carried out initially in Johor, Kedah and Selangor.

He cited a recent example where underground water was extracted via tube wells in drought-stricken areas in Kedah.

Earlier in his speech, Dr Xavier urged state governments to work together to better manage the nation's water resources.

As a finite resource, he said that some states have started bickering among themselves on how best to preserve and protect their own water sources.

He said the government is expected to allocate more towards the improvement and development of water infrastructure within the next 15 years.

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