Saving Water in the Quest to Secure the Future | WWF Malaysia

Saving Water in the Quest to Secure the Future

Posted on 07 October 2017
Participants and volunteers from HSBC Water Programme.
© WWF-Malaysia / Hong Chern Wern
Kuala Lumpur: According to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), there are around 633 million people who do not have access to clean water. Every day, over 800 children die from preventable diseases caused by poor water and lack of sanitation and hygiene. In 2005, the United Nations launched the Water for Life Decade to help create a greater awareness on the need to better care for our water resources. The event was a success. It was then that the United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 September as World Rivers Day.

Closer to home in Malaysia, about 97% of our raw water supply for agriculture, domestic and industrial needs are derived from surface water sources, primarily rivers. 

Water Quest 2017, an annual event organised by WWF-Malaysia with support from the HSBC Water Programme, was held today in an effort to increase public awareness on the vitality of conserving freshwater resources and its ecosystems, the close relationship and dependency of people on water, and to highlight the severe threats faced by freshwater resources. The event was also held to commemorate World Rivers Day (celebrated 22 September) as an effort to highlight the value of our rivers across the globe as a precious water resource, increase public awareness on the threats and challenges faced by rivers, and encourage the improved stewardship of rivers. 

First organised in 2015, the Water Quest series was designed with the purpose of creating an avenue for the Malaysian public to learn about water consumption and conservation issues in a fun and exciting manner. 

“WWF-Malaysia’s long-term goal is to increase the level of water conservation awareness and responsible water practices amongst urban communities in the Klang Valley, in a bid to reduce unnecessary wastage in water consumption. On a larger scale, Water Quest 2017 aims to showcase the connection between catchment forests, river systems and our water resources to the public,” said Dato’ Dr Dionysius S.K. Sharma, WWF-Malaysia Executive Director / CEO. 

“We sincerely hope that an understanding of these inter-linkages will inspire the public to support and participate in our water catchment forest and river system conservation efforts. Changing the way we think about and manage water on a daily basis is a critical step in ensuring the country’s water security,” he added.

A total of more than 150 participants and volunteers took part in this year’s Water Quest 2017. “The quest teaches us the importance of conserving our freshwater resources. If we lose it, it will be extremely difficult to recover and it will also be an expensive mistake for everyone. Water awareness should start from home by practising it and teaching our younger generation on how important these practices are,” said Syazatul Aqilah bt Shaharuddin, a participant from Water Quest 2017. 

Over the recent years, Malaysia has seen a higher frequency and more intense dry spells, which has affected the availability of water resources in many parts of the country. Residents in Klang Valley particularly would remember the 2014 water crisis, which was reported as the worst since the 1998 water crisis. The substantial drop in water levels in five Selangor reservoir dams brought about scheduled water rationing that lasted for several months in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. The crisis was linked to the El Nino phenomenon. 

Now, more than ever, Malaysians should remember the urgent need to take greater responsibility in the way we manage our water resources. Water Quest 2017 serves to convey this important reminder to inspire the Malaysian public to continue to demonstrate their concern and take action to address the threats and issues facing freshwater ecosystems and resources. 

As responsible citizens of Malaysia, it is timely that we reflect on water, a precious yet unlimited resource that is critical for survival but often underappreciated. WWF-Malaysia urges Malaysians to implement good water sustainability practices, be more conscious of water usage and wastage, and thus reduce our collective water footprint.

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For more information, please contact
Syafieqa Satria 
Communications Officer, Freshwater Conservation Programme 
Tel: +6017-3951088 
Participants and volunteers from HSBC Water Programme.
© WWF-Malaysia / Hong Chern Wern Enlarge
Participants were solving their given tasks at one of the water stations.
© WWF-Malaysia / Shariff Mohamad Enlarge
Participants were given a task using the water quality monitoring kit.
© WWF-Malaysia / Shariff Mohamad Enlarge
WWF-Malaysia's CEO giving a speech and performing during Water Quest 2017.
© WWF-Malaysia / Shariff Mohamad Enlarge