Malaysia receives abundant rainfall averaging 3,000mm annually that contributes to an estimated annual water resource of some 900 billion cubic metres.
About 97% of our raw water supply for agricultural, domestic and industrial needs are derived from surface water sources primarily rivers. Malaysia has 189 river basins - 89 in Peninsular Malaysia, 78 in Sabah and 22 in Sarawak. All the rivers originate and flow from the highlands.
The highland forests and wetlands (including forested wetlands and water bodies such as river systems) constitute key freshwater ecosystems in the country that deliver a multitude of benefits, from providing natural resources, gene pools, and habitats for flora and fauna, to enabling water purification and flood control.
These freshwater ecosystems are facing numerous threats and challenges. Recognising this, WWF-Malaysia promotes the conservation, integrated management and sustainable use of freshwater ecosystems. To achieve this, WWF-Malaysia advocates for integrated policies and approaches, field projects, improving information database, and information dissemination to increase awareness. These are encapsulated within WWF- Malaysia’s Freshwater Programme comprising the following three areas:
- Conserving river basins – maintenance and restoration of freshwater habitats and ecological processes within key river basins using approaches such Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM);
- Sustainable water use – focuses on sustainable water use policies and practices that contribute to freshwater habitat conservation using approaches such as Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM); and
- Conserving freshwater habitats – focuses on improved protection and management of priority freshwater habitats.