Controlled release at Bakun Reservior today

Bakun Dam

KUCHING: The downstream of Rejang River are expected to experience minimal rise in river levels during the seasonal realisation of water from Bakun reservoir.

Sarawak Energy yesterday announced the commencement of its seasonal controlled release of water from Bakun reservoir was a standard practice undertaken when the reservoir level exceeded a certain point due the recent heavy rainfall.

The release of water, which begins today (March 9), is scheduled for an estimated period of three weeks and estimated to flow past Kapit town about two days after the release and Sibu town after four days.

“Sarawak Energy is commencing its seasonal controlled release of water from the Bakun. The release of water will be kept as low as possible and will cease once the water level at the reservoir normalises,” said the statement.

During the release of water, the dam will hold the river debris within the catchment so that the downstream could navigate the flowing water more safely which will be reduced as the distance increases.

“This controlled procedure ensures water is released at regulated volumes through the gated spillway over a duration of time, to achieve the required level in the reservoir, and to minimise the impact to the downstream regions.

“In addition to generating electricity, hydropower dams such as Bakun Hydroelectric Plant (HEP) mitigate the impact of heavy rainfall on downstream flow by holding back large volumes of water in its reservoir,” it added.

However, Sarawak Energy also has reminded that external factors such as high sea tides, heavy rainfall downstream into catchments and tributaries can still result in floods.