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River Management - Activities

River Management - Activities

A river is define as any natural stream of water that flows in a channel with defined banks (Encyclopedia Britannica). The source of a river may be a lake, a spring, or a collection of small streams, known as headwaters. From their source, all rivers flow downhill, typically terminating into the sea/ocean as sketched in Figure 1. In some cases a river flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another water body. River is a component of the water cycle. Most rainfall on land passes through a river on its way to the ocean. Smaller side streams that join to a river are tributaries. Usually larger streams are called rivers while smaller streams are called creeks, brooks, rivulets, rills, and many other terms, but there is no general rule that defines a river. Locally, besides sungai, there are also many other terms refering to river; including alor (Kelantan), carok (Kedah), parit (Johor), batang (Sarawak) and terusan.

Definitions of River

Section 5 (Interpretation) of the National Land code: “River” means any stream, creek or other natural watercourse, and any tributary, distributary or artificial deviation thereof. In Malaysia, the water within a river generally originates from precipitation through surface runoff, groundwater recharge (as seen at base flow conditions / during periods of lack of precipitation) and release of stored water in natural or man-made reservoirs, such as wetlands, ponds or lakes. A river conveys water by constantly flowing perpendicular to the elevation contours, thereby converting the potential energy of the water into kinetic energy. Where a river flows over relatively flat areas, the river will meander, start to form loops and snake through the plain by eroding the riverbanks. Sometimes the river will cut off a loop, shortening the channel and forming an oxbow lake from the cut off section. Rivers that carry large amounts of sediment develop complex deltas at their mouths, with saline tidal waters forming estuaries.

Definitions of River Basin

"River basin" is an area of land from which all surface run-off flows through a sequence of streams, rivers and, possibly, lakes into the sea at a single river mouth, estuary or delta


No. Of

Main Basin

Small Basin

















Total Area




% Total Area




lembangan sg

The Main River Basin In Malaysia

River Management

Uses of Rivers

Rivers have been used as a source of water, for food, for transport, as a defensive barrier and as a source of power to drive machinery. For thousands of years rivers have been used for navigation.

Riverine navigation provides the cheapest means of transport and is still used extensively in Sarawak and Sabah. In the forest logging areas, timber loggers use the river to float felled trees downstream to lumber camps for further processing, saving much effort and cost by transporting the huge heavy logs by natural means. Rivers have been a source of food since pre-history. Apart from being a rich source of fish, prawns, shells and crabs, rivers indirectly aid cultivation by supplying water for crops. Rivers sustain their own food chain. They are a major source of fresh water; hence, it is no surprise to find most of the major towns and cities situated on the banks of rivers. Unfortunately, rivers readily provide an easy means of waste disposal and a source of gravel and sand generated and moved by rivers and used for construction. Rivers should be enjoyed not for their capacity for waste disposal, but rather for the beauty of rivers and their surroundings, which contributes to recreation as well as tourist income.

Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM)

On the other hand, Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM) is the process of coordinating conservation, management and development of water, land and related resources across sectors within a given river basin, in order to maximize the economic and social benefits derived from water resources in an equitable manner while preserving and, where necessary, restoring freshwater ecosystems ([1] GWP, 2002).

River Management Vision

IRBM is thus a subset of IWRM and is the effective approach or tool to achieve IWRM objectives on the river basin basis. In simple terms, it is the management of a river basin as an entity, not as a series of individual, unconnected pieces. It is geared towards integrating and coordinating policies, programmes and practices. It addresses water and water related issues. It requires improved professional capacity and increased financial, legislative, managerial and political capacity.

River Management - Activities - Best Practice IRBM Principles

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Best Practice IRBM Principles

Critical Success Factors for Integrated River Basin Management

IRBM Principles (Klang River Basin Environmental Improvement and Flood Mitigation Project 2003)


IRBM Critical Success Factors (Klang River Basin Environmental Improvement and Flood Mitigation Project)

One State One River Programme

One State One River Programme was launched in 2002 with the following objectives:

• To achieve clean, lively and valuable river with Class II water quality by 2015;

• To rehabilitate the river and its environment as a natural recreation area;

• To successfully adopt and implement Integrated River Basin Management; and

• To preserve the valuable asset of the river.

The programme required each state to select, with the agreement of state government one polluted river to be rehabilitated. The rehabilitation programme is to be carried out over a 10 to 15 years time frame with several short-term programmes as follows:

• Framework for rehabilitation programmes for upstream, middle and downstream stretch of river.

• Rubbish removal with installation of rubbish trap at source;

• Full enforcement of “Manual Saliran Mesra Alam (MSMA)” by local authorities for all land development;

• Enforcement of treatment system such as ‘Food, Oil & Grease’ (FOG) and Gross Pollutant Trap (GPT) by local authority for food stalls, market and other activities which contribute to river pollution;

• Resettlement of squatters and relocation of other activities besides river which cause pollution

• River and its reserve to be gazetted and utilized as riparian zone for different habitat depending on the river usage (such as urban, rural and water catchment);

• Promote and encourage private sector to practice Best Management Practices (BMPs) for all type of development such as Erosion and Sediment Control Plan (ESCP) to control erosion and sediment; and

• To tighten approval and enforcement of sand mining rules together with mandatory requirements for silt screen to control suspended sediment materials.

The main implementation strategies are Preventive Measures, Curative Measures and Management, and a few committees involving all stakeholders has been formed to achieve the vision of clean river.

Implementation Of IRBM Plan in 2016-2020



Area (km2)




1 Sungai Perlis 724 2 Perlis/Kedah Done
2 Sungai Kerian 1,420 2 Pulau Pinang/Kedah/Perak Done
3 Sungai Perak 14,908 1 Perak Done
4 Sungai Bernam 2,836 2 Perak/Selangor Done
5 Sungai Selangor 1,937 1 Selangor Done
6 Sungai Langat 2,348 2 Selangor/WPKL/N.Sembilan Done
7 Sungai Linggi 1,298 2 N.Sembilan/Melaka Done
8 Sungai Melaka 615 2 N.Sembilan/Melaka Done
9 Sungai Muar 6,138 2 Johor/Pahang/Melaka/N.Sembilan Done
10 Sungai Pahang 28,682 2 Pahang/N.Sembilan Done
11 Sungai Terengganu 4,596 1 Terengganu Done
12 Sungai Kedah 2,972 1 Kedah Done
13 Sungai Perai 448 2 Pulau Pinang/Kedah  
14 Sungai Merbok 439 1 Kedah  
15 Sungai Muda 4,150 2 Kedah/Pulau Pinang  
16 Sungai Klang 1,297 2 Selangor/WPKL  
17 Sungai Buloh 452 2 Selangor/WPKL  
18 Sungai Kesang 658 2 Melaka/Johor/N.Sembilan  
19 Sungai Johor 2,286 1 Johor  
20 Sungai Batu Pahat 2,049 1 Johor  
21 Sungai Sedeli Besar 1,425 1 Johor  
22 Sungai Pontian Besar 362 1 Johor  
23 Sungai Pulai 346 1 Johor  
24 Sungai Skudai 293 1 Johor  
25 Sungai Mersing 273.58 1 Johor  
26 Sungai Tebrau 256.72 1 Johor  
27 Sungai Kuantan 1,684.53 1 Pahang  
28 Sungai Kemaman 2,190.87 1 Terengganu  
29 Sungai Dungun 1,828.13 1 Terengganu  
30 Sungai Besut 953.22 1 Terengganu  
31 Sungai Setiu 876.89 1 Terengganu  
32 Sungai Marang 411.89 1 Terengganu  
33 Sungai Kelantan 12,981.85 1 Kelantan  
34 Sungai Golok 1,011.25 3 Kelantan/Thailand  
35 Sungai Juru 80.8 2 Pulau Pinang  
36 Sungai Padas 8,822 1 Sabah  
37 sungai Miri 680.9 1 Sarawak  

Location of IRBM Study Proposal For Entire Malaysia

Last Updated 2022-05-17 11:11:57 by Nur Azrien Afifie binti Roslan

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