Author(s): Chee-hui Lai, Chun Kiat Chang, Nor Azazi Zakaria
Keywords: Conflict resolution; Water resource management; Institutional framework; Water policy;
Abstract: Since industrial revolution in seventeenth century, water resource has been considered as a vital resource for economic growth. However, due to climate change, availability of water resource has become very uncertain. This has led to conflict between water users from different countries, cities and sectors on water resource allocation. In Malaysia, Kedah State and Penang State are two of five water stressed State in the country. Due to economic development, rapid urbanization and climate change, conflict in between both States over water resource allocation has been an unresolved issue that threatens social and economic sustainability in recent years. Therefore, this paper aims to review current institutional framework and of water resource management in Malaysia to explore the actors and factors that can contribute to resolve conflict of water allocation in between Kedah State and Penang State. Primary and secondary information were adopted from the analysis. Particularly the country’s, Kedah State’s and Penang State’s water legislations are deeply reviewed. Results reveal that from governance perspective, water resource governance in Malaysia is the responsibility of different government agencies. In addition, there is currently lack of corporation among stakeholders in managing water catchment areas that are shared by both States. Findings of this study will contribute to transform water governance in developing country towards a more sustainable water system.