Sungai Kargu Dam
Not many people in Brunei know where this is or what this is.
This is the site of the Kargu Dam, the latest reservoir for Brunei Darussalam, before it is totally submerged in water in the next few months leaving just that red canopy and that walkway above water. Everything else up to the treeline will all be under water. It will take between one to two year for the dam to fill up completely depending on how much rainfall over the next year.
It is located near Kampung Kargu somewhere on the way to Labi. Sungai Kargu was a relatively unknown stream until one day when it was discovered to have sufficient water flow and the right geography and geology for it to be converted into a dam. Yesterday was the ceremony to plug the final hole to stop water coming out and the dam finally became a dam.
This $35 million dam is currently being built by TSL Construction Sdn Bhd and had been undergoing construction since October 2007. Its sole purpose is to secure water available to Belait District from 150 million litre per day to 260 million litre per day. Water will not be extracted directly from the dam but this dam will serve as a regulating dam. When water is needed at the extraction station for Belait District at Badas during droughts etc, then only will the water be released from this dam. This is similar to the Benutan Dam in Tutong where water is released when it is needed at Layong.
This dam will store around 10.7 million cubic metre of water from a catchment area of 14.3 square kilometre. In fact that is a lot of forest which had to be sacrificed to build this dam.
A number of people would ask is this necessary? Unfortunately the answer is yes. In the last water demand study for Belait District in 2006, the Water Department found that Belait District needed a lot of water supply and now a lot more especially with the Sungai Liang Industrial Park. One way to ensure this water supply is to build this dam. Even with this dam, the water authorities can only ensure water supply to meet water demand up to the year 2030. Beyond that if the current forecasted demand goes where it is, then even with this dam, the water supply is insufficient. The government is already thinking of building another dam.
Saving water is essential and many do not know that the effect of just leaving that water tap running while you are brushing your teeth can cause environmental impact.
[All photographs are sourced from Richard Chua. Thanks Richard!]