V. CASE STUDY: MANAGEMENT AND CONSERVATION OF FRESHWATER RESOURCES IN KUALA LUMPUR
C. Protection of water quality and habitats
6. Water resources and environment
In Kuala Lumpur, as in Malaysia in general, environmental concerns have been formally addressed by the Environmental Quality Act, 1974, and Environmental Quality (Environmental Impact Assessment) Order 1987. The latter legislative order is aimed at protecting water resources through conservation rather than curative measures. The enforcing agency is the Department of Environment.
One such measure concerns the issuing of discharge licences. Currently, discharge licences are issued to ensure water quality in river systems. Each licence provides for a specific level of effluent standard, depending on the prevailing environmental situation, based on water quality standards. In addition, licence fees are imposed on the basis of several factors, including biological oxygen demand, which is typically the most important factor in terms of water quality.
Notwithstanding the present emphasis in Malaysia on industrial development, and the fact that Kuala Lumpur and its environs comprise one of the most industrialized areas in the country, the need for closer attention to water resources management and environmental protection remains critical. In fact, the ever-increasing level of development in Kuala Lumpur and its surroundings is imposing even greater demand on protection of water resources.