Friday, December 19, 2008

Extracting Groundwater - Think Again, Sir

When Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik announced in August last year that a water-filled underground cavern the size of Singapore has been discovered in Batang Padang area and can be tapped, I just smiled thinking that the statement was just a bargaining strategy with Pahang for the proposed Interstate Water Transfer Tunnel between Pahang to Selangor, which has been long overdue.

But after reading this article from the Star, I realise that they are really serious on this issue. Are we really desperate to extract groundwater for our consumption? Extracting underground water means further destabilising the ground, and might create major settlement and sinkholes around the area. The experience of Mexico (specifically Mexico City), a sinking city where extraction of groundwater has been taking place for quite sometime, should be studied and learnt. In KL, I've seen sinkholes appeared even 1km away from the site where we carried out dewatering of groundwater for the construction of some underground structures, damaging surrounding properties. And here we are talking about potentially dewatering an underground cavern the size of Singapore!

Efforts should be taken to put 'life' back into our rivers again and making the water fit for consumption, and the success story of UK in rehabilitating Thames River which had been polluted due to many years of Industrial Revolution is a good lesson to be learned. Do not further destabilise the environment and the Earth by taking out its water. The Earth has spoken many times, and we have to listen.

Think again, Sirs.


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