Thursday, August 16, 2007

Panel to watch over water matters

From Wee Beng Wah

Thursday July 12, 2007 Writer DEBBIE CHAN from The Star

THE Water Association of Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya (SWAn) was officially launched on July 10, sparking a new network of individuals and corporate bodies in promoting more efficient water-related information flow.

The body was registered on Nov 3 and its main objective is to promote research in the scientific, technological, legal and administrative aspects of water quality and the treatment of water pollution as well as research on engineering and management in water treatment, water supply and wastewater industries.
Official seal: Zulhasnan (right) receiving a souvenir from Rozali after launching SWAn.It also plans to promote the preservation of waterways, protection of public health and the environment as well as to educate the public on resource recovery, preservation, conservation and the reuse of water resources.

“The association is a new paradigm in our efforts to improve professionalism and reliable water supply and usage which is a critical element in the development process of Klang Valley,” said Federal Territory Minister Datuk Zulhasnan Rafique who launched the association.

“One of the most critical challenges for administrators in the Klang Valley is the optimised utilisation and conservation of water. The water supply operators in the stipulated three areas have a huge responsibility in ensuring the provision, uninterrupted supply and distribution of clean, treated water for its residents,” Zulhasnan said.

The association will be beneficial for local communities, as it will help gather feedback and suggestions and direct them to authorities at both the federal and state levels.

“Sporadic and uncoordinated complaints, comments and suggestions would be most difficult to collate, let alone articulate and satisfy but if it is being done by an entity that is able to act as the voice of the people in relation to their aspiration to be supplied with uninterrupted good and safe water supply, this process will be easier and more manageable,” Zulhasnan added.

Association President, Tan Sri Rozali Ismail also said that the association would pay attention to rivers, especially Klang and Gombak River.

“We hope to be able to clean and upgrade the rivers that one day, we will be able to swim in it,” Rozali said.

He added that SWAn has also established several committees in order to implement the association’s business plan. Among them are the Management and Technology Standing Committee, the Communication and Publications Standing Committee and the Events and Activities Standing Committee.

“The association is only eight months old but in terms of importance, it is highly critical that parties interested in water and waste water in the Klang Valley area operate in a more cohesive and streamlined manner,” Rozali said.

“We hope to play a stronger role in expressing our views and aspirations of the water services industry via similar platforms in the future. We hope to contribute in eliminating the challenges in producing quality treated water ,” he added.

Membership is open to anyone in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya with interests in water or wastewater industries. As of now, there are already more than 400 registered members from water companies, water consultants, contractors and the government sector. As a member of the association, they will gain specific benefits such as greater access to networking, information sharing among water professionals and the public.

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