Bridging the Gap Between Academia and Government in Water Quality Preservation: The Pollution Load Control Initiative in Malaysia
|Dates:||11 December 2018|
|Times:||13:00 - 14:00|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences|
|Who is it for:||University staff, Current University students|
|Speaker:||Dr Zaki Zainudin|
Our speaker is Dr Zaki Zainudin, an independent water quality and modelling specialist, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The matter of practical sustainable water resource governance is a challenging topic in many parts of the world. Inculcation of scientific advancements and new discoveries into policy can be sluggish. In fact, at times, academics are said to be detached from the water governance nexus, purportedly resulting in impractical ideas. The same is true in Malaysia. However, in recent years, the role of scientists and academics to influence public policy have become more prominent. This seminar discusses how domestic water supply disruptions in 2014, 2015 and 2016, lead to a relook of pollution control legislation in Malaysia with active involvement from academia. To convince decision makers that a relook was necessary, technical limitations pertaining to existing pollution control legislation were explained and discussed. This required sound understanding on the part of the scientists on matters of water resource governance and existing legal provisions. This eventually led to the proposition of new load-based control strategies. Immediate, low impact load control measures, were deemed as crucial as long-term sustainable measures. Short term load control measures can be incorporated into existing regulatory provisions (eg. Environmental Quality Act, 1974, etc.); while long-term measures required the introduction of new laws. Federal-state administrative disparity also needed bridging by establishing common, tangible and visible water quality target blueprints. Various government agencies now adopt these load-based control approach when drafting catchment management plans. This approach however has also brought new epiphanies particularly in terms of sewage management which account for more than 50% of point-source NH3-N load in urban rivers. In any case, the prominent role of academia which culminated in the new load-based control approach was undeniable.
Dr Zaki Zainudin
Role: Independent Water Quality & Modelling Specialist, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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