Water Quality in Malaysia
Access to clean drinking water is crucial in order to sustain life. For some nations, this is a major dilemma. Thus, water quality in Malaysia is currently of some concern.

Malaysia is experiencing rapid urbanization and population growth. This rapid growth leads to an increased demand for water and spiked levels of water pollution. These factors seriously harm the water quality in Malaysia.

Various human, domestic, industrial, commercial and transportation wastes trickle into the water supply. Polluting water sources consequently creates serious health hazards.

Water quality in Malaysia, as well as access to water in general, is a major problem. The primary pollutants present in the water are Biochemical Oxygen Demand, Ammoniacal Nitrogen and Suspended Solids. These are consequences of untreated or only partially treated sewage.

Lakes and reservoirs serve as domestic, industrial, agricultural, hydroelectric, navigational and recreational sources of water. Since 98 percent of the water originates from rivers, river pollution is a serious concern.

Malaysia has departments like the Department of Environments to take charge of the water quality problem. The Department of Environments is responsible for tracking the water quality in Malaysia using Water Quality Index and National Water Quality Standards. The National Water Quality Monitoring Programme added new rivers in the area to control the presence of Biochemical Oxygen Demand, Ammoniacal Nitrogen and Suspended Solids.

With the development of the Department of Environments to control the water quality problem and the National Water Quality Monitoring Program to decrease pollutants in the water supply, water quality in Malaysia is improving significantly. Malaysia receives 25,000 cubic meters of renewable water for each person each year from this river system.

This system significantly improves the water quality in Malaysia. However, the country lacks a nationally recognized standard for water quality. Several agencies manage the system, but they have no legal ties or obligations to follow certain policies.

Malaysia continues to work on improving its water quality through these fragmented agencies, but these efforts are not enough to completely salvage the quality. Fixing the fragmentation is a step in the right direction for Malaysia. Additionally, outside organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund are working in Malaysia.

Focusing on creating a cohesive and binding system in Malaysia would improve the water quality while also ensuring that agencies have a legal obligation to comply with monitoring practices.

Katelynn Kenworthy

Photo: Flickr