Following the 1998 water crisis, which had severely affected the Klang Valley, the Government of Malaysia, alongside various official institutions, issued a guideline for installing rainwater harvesting, collection and utilization systems.
Early Phases of Rainwater Harvesting Policies in Malaysia
The Government of Malaysia has since collaborated with various government agencies such as Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (NAHRIM), Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID), Department of Local Government, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and Universiti Malaya (UM) to pursue research and development efforts on rainwater harvesting system while focusing on hydrologic and hydraulic design, system design and performance, installation and operational costs and water quality aspects.
Serious Enforcement in 2012
After years of feasibility studies and discussions, an amendment to the Uniform Building By-Laws 1984 were made in early-2012, requiring newly-built detached buildings as well as bungalows and semi-detached bungalows with a roof area of 100 square meter and above, to be equipped with a system that captures rainwater for reuse (Sistem Penuaian Air Hujan SPAH). The states of Johor, Kelantan, Malacca, Perak, and Selangor gazetted the ruling.
Although The Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur is not governed by the legislation, frequent flash floods have prompted it to become an early adopter of the green systems; the City Hall made it mandatory for all residential houses in 2008 and commercial buildings in 2010. The City Council of Petaling Jaya City, in particular, enforced the same for all new buildings in 2010.
Despite such ruling, certain areas of Klang Valley still faces water woes, to the extent residents have their water usage rationed. This shows that rainwater harvesting is not as widely practiced as desired. This may be attributed to various challenges many are facing in implementing the system.
Challenges in Harvesting Rain
The price of an average rainwater harvesting system can range between RM1,500 and RM10,000 or more, depending on specifications and intended usage. Furthermore, most rainwater harvesting systems require electrical pumps to function, to pump the conserved rainwater from the rainwater tank (on ground) to the WCs. Not only that it uses more electricity unnecessarily, such systems are also not cost feasible should there be a future rise in electricity tariff.
No Incentive To Harvest Rainwater Given Malaysia’s Low Tariffs
Hefty Installation Cost Burdens Developers
Bulky Rainwater Tanks – An Eyesore And Space Consuming
Tedious Process Involved When Determining Rainwater Harvesting Tank Placement
Not Exactly Green
The purpose of harvesting rainwater is to be kind to environment, amongst many reasons. However, as aforementioned, most systems require electrical pumps to function – which essentially increase carbon emission while defeating the objective of being environmental friendly.
Solving The Issues
Acknowledging the need of a one-size-fits-all solution was what compelled us to embark on extensive research & development efforts on rainwater harvesting system. With an aim to have more people partake in rainwater harvesting and to secure our most precious resource, we designed the Voda Rainwater Harvesting System. With Voda, Rainwater Harvesting System, users can harvest rainwater with a low maintenance rainwater collection system that functions without a pump. Homeowners can also do so without sacrificing any ground spaces made possible by its unique wall-mounted design. Voda Rainwater Harvesting System can also be easily installed via a “plug and play” approach without requiring major alterations to a building structure. On top of it, Voda Rainwater Harvesting System has a sleek design and comes in various colours that could complement the exterior of any premise.