Water crisis: Coffee shops hit again just as business picks up

(FMT) – A coffee shop association says the water crisis in the Klang Valley has badly affected many trades, while most businesses were just beginning to see a pick-up in pace after facing restrictions to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ho Su Mong, president of the Malaysia-Singapore Coffee Shop Proprietors’ General Association, said many commercial zones where coffee shops and eateries are located have experienced disruptions in the water supply.

“It couldn’t have come at a worse time. Businesses have not come back to normal but now we are facing another challenge,” he told FMT.

Ho said many eateries have closed temporarily due to the disruption.

“We cannot ration water as we need it for cleaning,” he said, adding that it was not easy to follow Covid-19 SOPs without it.

He said some eateries had tried to use disposable plates and water bottles but said this was not sustainable as it will turn away customers.

He also questioned the state of management at Air Selangor and enforcement agencies in allowing the present situation to come about.

“We heard this disruption is caused by pollution from factories. This should not happen as Selangor is more developed than any other state in the country,” he said.

Air Selangor should concentrate on carrying out more monitoring on water sources to overcome this recurring problem, he said.

Operations at the Rantau Panjang WTP and Sungai Selangor WTP phases 1, 2 and 3 were suspended on Sept 3 after pollution was detected in the raw water.

A factory was closed on suspicion of polluting the water.

A total of 1,292 locations across seven areas in the Klang Valley have been experiencing water supply disruptions since. The areas are Kuala Lumpur, Petaling, Klang/Shah Alam, Kuala Selangor, Hulu Selangor, Gombak and Kuala Langat.

Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) president Halim Merican said the water crisis would cause a surge in hotel bookings.

“Normally, we do get an influx of bookings due to such a situation. Water tanks in hotels, depending on the occupancy, can usually sustain guests for two to three days,” he told FMT.

Budget Hotel Association president Emmy Suraya Hussein said many hotels had been informed earlier regarding the water disruptions.

She said many hotels had prepared themselves to handle the crisis, adding that hotels would also request for water tanks for emergency purposes.

“If we have a water shortage, we will request for water tanks,” she added.