Water piping work in the Malaysian state of Johor. Water losses in Malaysia add up to an average of 35 percent nationally.
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Ambitious water management partnership between Denmark and Malaysia signed

Danish water specialists will help Malaysia increase its security of water supply and reduce high water losses.

20. Jun 2019

In Malaysia, an average of 35 percent of clean drinking water is lost before it reaches consumers. While the most effective states lose approx. 20 percent of the pure water, more than 60 percent disappears due to leakage in the regions where water losses are highest. Consequently, the Malaysian Water Association (MWA) has now signed an agreement with Danish water specialists in order to reduce water losses in Malaysia.

The agreement is between MWA, DANVA – The Danish Water and Wastewater Association – and NIRAS. The new partnership means that water utility professionals of Malaysia receive training courses to educate them in more advanced methods within groundwater utilization and leakage management.

”The agreement is a key milestone of MWA's collaboration with leading international water institutions to nurture our industry professionals and workforce talents to support Malaysia desire to bring our water industry to be on par with that of developed countries,” says Datuk Ir. Abdul Kadir Mohd, President of Malaysian Water Association.

World-class knowledge

In Denmark, the average water loss on a national level is only 7 percent. Many years of efforts and incentives from the government have made Denmark something close to world champions when it comes to security of supply and leakage management. Therefore, it makes sense that Malaysia is looking towards Denmark, now embarking on an ambitious journey towards significantly lower levels.

Water losses must be reduced to 31 percent nationally as early as 2020, and in 2025, the goal of reduction is 25 percent. At the same time, efforts in the field of groundwater management are to increase the security of supply for the country’s 32 million inhabitants.

”To address the challenges of the Malaysian water suppliers, capacity building is an important step implementing new approaches and solutions. Therefore, we help them develop training courses to be conducted as quickly as possible. This is necessary if the ambitious targets for reducing water losses are to be met,” says Omar Christian Thomsen, Director of International Water at NIRAS.

Training courses to commence in the fall

The training courses for the Malaysian water professionals will be prepared during the autumn of 2019, and workshops will accordingly be conducted in late 2019.

As part of the training, VIA University College offers knowledge of didactics and effective teaching methods. NIRAS has some of the industry's leading specialists within leakage management and groundwater management. In addition, DANVA contributes with many years of practical experience from the Danish water sector.

“It is a key element of DANVA's strategy to engage in partnerships nationally and internationally for the benefit of our members. The Malaysian Water Association has inquired about knowledge and education within benchmarking, groundwater management and NRW – all of them topics where Denmark and Danish water utilities together with our advisors and contractors have a lot to offer. The topics also play well in relation to our work with UN's Sustainable Development Goals,” says Carl-Emil Larsen, Executive Director of DANVA.


Tom Heron, Senior Vice President of NIRAS closes the deal with a handshake to the President of The Malaysian Water Association. From the left: Henrik Bjorn, Associate Professor at VIA University College, Carl-Emil Larsen, Executive Director of DANVA – Danish Water and Wastewater Association. In the background: Dr. Xavier Jayakumar, Minister of Water, Land and Natural Resources in Malaysia. To the right: Omar Christian Thomsen, Director of International Water at NIRAS.