OPEN LETTER TO SELANGOR STATE: On the Utilization of Water from Disused Mining Pools

YB Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi
Executive Councillor for Youth and Sports, Infrastructure and Public Amenities
Selangor State Government

Dear Dr Yunus,

We refer to your recent media statement on the utilisation of water from disused mining pools following the lowering of the water level in the dams in Selangor due to the current dry spell.

The spate of water shortages in the Klang Valley during the dry periods has been a key concern among water users in Selangor, and an indication that water stresses will become more severe in the future unless action is taken. To resolve the immediate situation, the Selangor state government has turned to the pumping of water from disused mining pools in Bestari Jaya to boost the quantity of water in Sg. Selangor which supplies water for treatment plants downstream.

Many parties have already raised concern that water from disused mining pools are inherently high in substances such as heavy metals and arsenic that are harmful to both human health and aquatic life.

Water quality sampling results released by LUAS have indicated that water from these pools were within permissible water quality limits. While we do not dispute the validity of the results, previous studies have indicated otherwise, which in the interest of public health, raises our deep concern.

We urge the state government to exercise due precaution on the utilisation of water from disused mining pools until further evaluations are conducted to allay the fears of concerned parties.

Representing groups of concerned citizens, we have the following requests:
that all data on water quality assessments at the mining pools and along the upstream and downstream of these pools be made available for review;
if water quality sampling assessments are deemed to be inadequate, further samples are to be taken, particularly to capture both low-flow (dry seasons) and high-flow (wet seasons) conditions;
that an independent panel be appointed, comprising of technical experts and key stakeholders, to provide a fair assessment of the issue, before decisions are made on the utilisation of water from the mining pools.

We also request for a dialogue with you, to provide our input, and to work together towards a resolution of the matter, in the interest of ensuring safe water resources for all water consumers in the State.

This statement is endorsed by the following groups:

  • #PowerShiftMsia
  • All Women’s Action Society (AWAM)
  • Environmental Protection Society of Malaysia (EPSM)
  • Friends of Kota Damansara
  • Mama BERSIH
  • Persatuan Belia Perubahan Iklim
  • Persatuan Pelindung Khazanah Alam Malaysia (PEKA)
  • Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
  • Treat Every Environment Special (TrEES)

c.c.

  1. Menteri Besar Negeri Selangor
  2. Pengarah LUAS
  3. Pengarah Jabatan Kesihatan Negeri Selangor
  4. Pengarah Jabatan Alam Sekitar Negeri Selangor
  5. Suruhanjaya Pengurusan Air Negara