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Ulu Muda: Is the NCER's Water Security Being Threatened?

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Penang Institute

Jalan Brown

George Town, Pulau Pinang 10350

Malaysia

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The 160,000-hectare Ulu Muda forest reserve in Kedah is an important water catchment area supplying raw water to Penang, Kedah and Perlis. Around 80% of Penang’s raw water supply comes from Sungai Muda, which originates in the Ulu Muda area. This river also accounts for 96% of Kedah’s water supply and 50% of Perlis’ as well. The Muda irrigation scheme in Kedah, which accounts for about 40% of total rice production in Malaysia, also relies greatly on water sourced from the Ulu Muda Reserve. The Ulu Muda region is clearly vital to the environmental well-being of the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER).

However, Ulu Muda is facing serious threats. The rampant legal and illegal logging activities that are taking place there is believed to affect Muda river’s ability to supply raw water to Penang, Perlis and Kedah. Cutting down of trees in Ulu Muda will affect its ability to catch rainwater, and will seriously affect the quantity and quantity of raw water available from the Muda river. The logging activities will also have detrimental effects on the Ulu Muda’s rich
biodiversity and wildlife population.

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Penang Institute

Jalan Brown

George Town, Pulau Pinang 10350

Malaysia

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