Johor state ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar witnessing the exchange of agreement documents between Singapore PUB Chairman Tan Gee Pau and Johor state secretary Datuk Obet Tawil at the handing over and receiving event in conjunction with the termination of the Singapore-Johor water agreement 1961. Left are Environment and Water Resources Senior Minister Grace Fu, Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, Balakrishnan and Johor Regent Tunku Ismail Ibrahim (right).

JOHOR BARU — The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, today witnessed the handing over of the four water treatment plants under the management of the Singapore Public Utilities Board (PUB), to the Johor Government.

PUB chairman Tan Gee Paw and Johor State Secretary Obet Tawil were signatories at the handing over of the water treatment plants at Gunung Pulai and Skudai, and pump houses at Pontian and Tebrau.

The handing-over ceremony was held at the Gunung Pulai water treatment plant here today.

Also present were Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman and Singapore Water Resources Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.

The handing-over marked the end of the 1961 water agreement signed between the Singapore and Johor governments.

Abdul Ghani thanked the PUB for having kept the two treatment plants and the pump houses in good working condition throughout their tenure.

“The water treated at the Gunung Pulai facility is of very high quality and the Johor Goverment intends to keep up the good work done by the PUB,” he said.

He said the state goverment was considering upgrading the facilities at the treatment plants and pump houses.

Meanwhile in SINGAPORE, Balakrishnan said the return to Johor of the four waterworks would not affect the republic’s water supply.

“The handover on good terms is symbolic of deeping ties between Singapore and Malaysia,” he was quoted as saying by local television Channel NewsAsia after the handover ceremony in Gunong Pulai.

The four waterworks produced about 15 million gallons of water daily, equivalent to 30 swimming pools, or 5% of Singapore’s total water supply.

Dr Balakrishnan said water supply would not be affected as Singapore was on track to achieving water self-sufficiency by 2061, when the second and final water agreement with Johor expires.

He said throughout the years, Singapore has been building up local water sources by developing new reservoirs and improving NEWater and desalination technology.