Brunei's Water Supply

The Minister and us went round again yesterday to see the water supplies as part of our regular inspection. Because of the shift in wind directions, we have been quite lucky to receive the rains instead of the rain dropping out at sea. We have been lucky too that with the winds blowing the other directions, we don't get the smog from the end of the Borneo Island. However once the winds shitt directons to us from the south, my worry is that the haze will come back with a vengance.

Has the water supply improved with the rains?

Not really. This is a photograph of the Mengkubau Dam. Mengkubau supply the areas immediately surrounding it as far as Muara. The brown stain in that water intake tower is the amount of water that has been taken away from Mengkubau and has not been replaced by any rain.

We also visited the Tutong Barrrage. The barrage is a barrier in the middle of the river so that the fresh water flowing from the hills out to the seas are trapped behind the barrage. So the water immediately behind the barrage became a dam so that the intake pumps can draw from this pool of water. While the areas in front of the barrage became more saline because the water from the sea will eventually mix with the frsesh water.

In the photograph, you can see the higher water level on the left because the water has been mixed with waters released from Benutan Dam. The lower water on the right is due to lower sea tide. The higher fresh water intake allows us to have uninterrupted water supply in Brunei and Tutong districts which is taken and processed at Layong, Bukit Barun and Kuala Abang. It is currently the Benutan Dam which is functioning as the huge reserve. But if we keep drawing down, eventually Benutan Dam will be empty.


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