KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia aims to reach 98 per cent clean water coverage and 87.5 per cent sewerage coverage for rural areas by 2025, said Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Huang Tiong Sii.
He said as of 2022, water supply access coverage stood at 97.1 per cent in urban areas and 97 per cent in rural areas, while sewerage services covered 85.4 per cent of the main cities.
“Malaysia is committed to achieving these targets in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to ensure access to clean water and sanitation for all,” he said at the Malaysia International Water Convention (MIWC) 2023 opening ceremony here today.
MIWC 2023, the region’s premier event for water industry professionals, is poised to gather over 650 thought leaders, innovators and practitioners from diverse sectors to address the critical challenges facing the water industry and explore sustainable solutions for a water-secure future.
Themed ‘Sustainability: Transforming Vision into Action’, the four-day event began yesterday at the World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur.
On water-related issues, he said the Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Ministry (NRECC) is looking at strengthening the legislative framework through amendments to the Water Services Industry Act [Act 655].
“We will also be implementing measures to increase the financial sustainability of the water industry through tariff revisions.
“The restructuring of water tariffs is important for water operators to continue making continuous investments in infrastructure development needed to increase the operational efficiency and service quality to consumers,” said Huang.
With a comprehensive programme featuring a conference, dialogues, forum, exhibition, workshop, lab visit, technical tours and networking reception, MIWC 2023 will provide a platform for participants to engage in meaningful discussions, exchange knowledge and discover cutting-edge technologies and solutions that can transform the water industry.
Today and tomorrow the conference will feature over 40 sessions covering the latest advancements, innovations and best practices in the water industry in a wide range of topics.
MIWC 2023 will host three crucial events - the SPAN Dialogue, the River Basin Management Dialogue and the Roadmap for the National Agenda on Water Sector Transformation 2040 (WST2040) forum.
The SPAN Dialogue will focus on the theme ‘Sustainability: Transforming Vision into Action’, exploring innovative strategies and actionable steps towards a sustainable water supply in Malaysia.
The River Basin Management Dialogue, titled ‘Flowing River Without Borders’, will explore best practices in sustainable and integrated river basin management within and beyond boundaries.
The Roadmap for the National Agenda on WST2040 forum will outline the implementation strategies, goals and key performance indicators for the transformation of Malaysia’s water sector.
The forum will discuss the potential economic benefits of a transformed water sector, including a value-add of RM13.3 billion and a contribution of 0.46 per cent to the national gross domestic product (GDP).
MIWC 2023 is anticipated to draw over 3,500 visitors from across the globe.
It is organised by the Malaysian Water Association (MWA) and PROTEMP Group with Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Air Negara (SPAN) as the co-organiser. –Bernama