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Department of Irrigation and Drainage Sarawak

Flooding at downstream Rajang River not caused by scheduled discharge from Bakun HEP, says SEB
Posted on : 08 Sep 2020  Source of News: The Borneopost online
 

SEB says since the HEP’s completion, downstream flooding has been reduced and the impact has been mitigated as the dam holds back a large volume of rainwater all year round.

SIBU: The current flooding affecting areas downstream Rajang River, including Kanowit and Sibu, is not due to the regulated discharge of water from the Bakun hydroelectricity power plant (Bakun HEP) as what has been speculated.

According to Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB), Bakun HEP plays a major role in mitigating the severity of flooding downstream Rajang River by balancing both the upstream reservoir and the downstream water levels, especially during periods of heavy rainfall.

“Since its (HEP’s) completion, downstream flooding has been reduced and the impact has been mitigated as the dam holds back a large volume of rainwater all year round.

“The current flooding affecting the downstream areas, including Kanowit and Sibu, are due to the combination of unseasonal localised heavy rainfall and the ‘King Tide’ – and not because of the regulated discharge of water from Bakun HEP as what has been speculated,” it said in a press statement yesterday.

SEB also said the last controlled water release from the Bakun HEP reservoir was done last month, from Aug 9 to 22.

“Since then, there has been no controlled release of water from the reservoir, except for the normal generation discharge.”

The SEB said it had a dedicated team that would continuously monitor the water levels in the reservoir and the rivers downstream on a daily basis, and would provide advice if there was a need for controlled release, which would be done with consultation with and permission from Sarawak Rivers Board and the Department of Irrigation and Drainage Sarawak.

“Whenever there is a planned regulated release from the spillway, the local councils and the stakeholders along with the public would be notified at least two days ahead of the scheduled operation, as per the standard practice,” it said.