Selamat Menunaikan Ibadat Puasa to all Muslim readers. Ramadhan Karim. I am going to talk about one of the most required resources during fasting month .... water.
We did the cement laying ceremony at what is going to be Brunei's biggest dam yesterday at Sungai Kargu. The dam, which is going to be officially named after the Sungai is expected to be ready by 2010. Where we did the cement laying ceremony will be underwater soon.
Where in the world is Kargu? Here is the map:-
Currently Sungai Kargu is a very small river but fast flowing in the Andulau Reserve Forest in Sungai Liang. It's about a few miles inside Jalan Labi and then a few kilometers near one of the sawmill. This project will dam an area of around 220 hectares. If you look at the map, area wise this dam will be much bigger than Benutan Dam and will be so much bigger than Tasek Merimbun.
By the time the entire dam is completed, it will retain about 10 million cubic meter of water which can be released to Sungai Belait during drought seasons. The water is also expected to cater for Belait District until 2030s and has even taken account of the water needs in the industrial area of SPARK at Sungai Liang. The whole project cost around $34.5 million and expected to be ready by April 2010.
We were lucky that not much biodiversity was affected at this site. But in the next 30 years, Brunei will have to start thinking where our fresh water supply will come from. We have taken our water for granted that nowadays we use about 440 litres for each person per day. So far the government has been able to match demand with supply. But each new supply has a cost. The next dam we built will affect the environment that much more. At the moment the cost of supplying water is already 4 times what the government charges. The cost of water is assumed zero in this case. It's something we all have to think about. Water is not free. Water has a price. Sooner or later we have to pay that true price.