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River Register Basin Phase I Report




The Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) is interested to develop a River Basin Information Management System (RB-IMS) for Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak. The RB-IMS is envisioned by the Dill to be a river basin management information computer database that will facilitate the integrated management of all river basins in the country. It shall include a National Register

The objectives of the RB-IMS study are summarised as follows:

  • To review the existing River Basin Information System (RBIS) and recommend additional features if pertinent

  • To develop the framework (template) for a comprehensive River Basin Information Management System (RB-IMS), incorporating RBIS

  • To prepare a guideline for the delineation of river sub-basins, according to different management aspects and priorities.

  • To prepare a guideline for the delineation of river sections, including river coding! classification

  • To compile and populate the developed RB-IMS & RBIS Framework (template), for 4 selected river basins, one each in Sabah and Sarawak, and two in Peninsular Malaysia

The study is divided into 2 phases. The focus of the current first phase study of 9 months was on developing the draft framework for the RB-IMS. The focus in the RB-IMS second phase, of about 15 months, is on populating 4 selected river basins with information based on the draft RB- IMS framework developed.

14 Workshops and one Round-table Meeting were held with government stakeholders and 19 selected NGOs, respectively, during the study to gather their comments and feedback on the initial draft RB- IMS framework.. Appendix 3 a summary of the feedback received and the consultant's comments, pertinent. Appendix 6 gives a CD ,containing the proceedings from the Workshops and meetings.

The Consultant was also requested to conduct a study to update the flooding conditions for the whole country, concurrently with the Phase-l RB-IMS. The outputs from the additional study is reported in Volume 2 of the Report.




"II Study on the Establishment of the River Basin Information System (RBIS )in Malaysia" was completed in December 1998 with the assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The outputs from the RBIS are a master plan and a pilot operational system RBIS for the Perak River Basin.

The Consultant found that the RBIS is a GIS-based IT system and should be developed in line with the objectives of the National Infrastructure for Land Information System (NaLlS) project, initiated by the Ministry of Land and ( Cooperative Development (MLCD). The NaLlS is a national project to coordinate and provide timely access land information for all users of land information. It also aims to minimise the duplication of work and cost of spatial data collection and maintenance.

The RBIS has limited capability in managing non-spatial information, such as laws, regulations, institutional structure, etc. Thus, the Consultant recommends that all non-spatial information from the RBIS study should be incorporated in the RB-IMS. The RBIS (minus the non-spatial information part) should be developed as part of the NaLlS infrastructure.

The revised RBIS shall be referred to as the River Basin Geographic Information System (RB-GIS). The RB-IMS and RB-GIS, together with the River Basin Simulation Modelling System (RB-SMS) and the Web Browser Access System (WBAS) shall form the River Basin Decision Support System (RB-DSS).

The RB-SMS is a grouping of all the simulation models used to support the integrated management of river basins in the country. The simulation models allow the river basin manager the ability to make predictions and evaluate management options. The WBAS is to facilitate easy access by any general users to the river basin management information stored in the RB-IMS databases and also the maps in the RB-GIS databases of the RB-DSS.




The RB- IMS has been designed to be an integrated, national, river-basin information management system, comprising of numerous thematic information databases, distributed among both federal and state agencies. The Information databases are designed to work together in an integrated way to support the integrated management of all river basins in the country, by all river basin management related agencies.


The draft framework of the RB-IMS system are described in the following Chapters in this report:

  • Chapter 4 – River Basin Dictionary

  • Chapter 5 – Register of Rivers

  • Chapter 6 – River Basin Management Unit (RBMU) template

  • Chapter 7 – River Basin Management Unit (RBMU) in Malaysia

  • Chapter 8 – Thematic Databases

  • Chapter 9 – Information Management

  • Plan



A River Basin Dictionary has been developed as part of the RB-IMS. The terms in the Dictionary are organised under the following headings:

  • Alphabetical Listings of Terms

  • Definition of Basic River Terms

  • River Coding System

  • Water Resources

  • Earth Science

  • Environmental Science

  • Town Planning

  • Institutional

  • Legislation

  • River Corridor

  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

  • Geographical lnformation System (GIS)


To facilitate the unique identification of a River, River System and River Basin Management Unit (RBMU) and their associated features in the RB-IMS, a River Coding System has been developed for the RB-IMS. The RB-IMS River Coding System is alphanumeric and has a minimum of 7 and a maximum of 9 characters. It has been specifically designed to be simple to facilitate identification by the public with a river. For the purposes of NaLlS, a 12-digit River Coding System based on the simple alphanumeric system used in the RB-IMS, has bee recommended separately by the Consultant to the DID for use in the RB-GIS to support NaLlS.




A National Register of Rivers, based on the above river coding system, is to be developed as part of the RB-IMS. The Register shall contain the names, river codes and maps of all rivers in Malaysia. The rivers shall be organised under their respective river systems. For each river in the Register a map showing the river basin/sub-basin. together with the pertinent boundaries of the administrative and management units. shall be provided.


The river systems in Malaysia are grouped as follows. The numbers in brackets is the number of river systems in each group.

  • Peninsular Malaysia River Systems (89)

  • Sarawak River Systems (22)

  • Sabah River Systems (78)




The RBMU Template has been developed to facilitate the systematic mapping of all pertinent river basin management information in a RBMU into the RB-IMS.

The main links in a RBMU home page are as follows:

  • River Basin Fact Sheet

  • Sarawak River Systems (22)

  • Information Guide

  • Institutional Set up

  • Legal and Regulatory Requirements

  • Existing Environment

  • Information Management

  • Documents Management

  • Policy Guidelines

  • Management Issues and Problems

  • Management Objectives and Targets

  • Management Programs

  • Budget and Finance

  • Monitoring and Enforcement

  • Research and Development

  • Emergency Preparedness and Response

  • Community Stakeholders

  • Education and Awareness

  • Management Review




In the absence of an approved criteria for the delineation of RBMU .Consultant has adopted the river basin delineation by JICA in the 1982 National Water Resources Study to define the RBMUs in Malaysia.




To facilitate the updating process in the RB-IMS, thematic information databases have to be developed for use by all pertinent custodian agencies. The thematic databases to be developed have been identified and their initial draft framework have been developed. They have been grouped under the following headings:

  • Economic Activities Databases

  • River Corridor Management Databases

  • Water Resourses Management Databases

  • Licensing and Approval Databases

  • Environmental Management Databases

  • Land-use Management Databases

  • Other Databases


The Water Resources Management Thematic Databases and their respective custodian agencies are:

  • Hydrology (DID)

  • Meteorological Data (MMS)

  • Flood (DID)

  • Agricultural Drainage (DID)

  • Urban Drainage (Local Authority/DID)

  • Irrigation (DID)

  • River Engineering (DID)

  • Coastal Engineering (DID)

  • Water Supply (PWD)

  • Groundwater (Mineral and Geoscience Department)

  • Hydropower (TNB)

  • Water Bodies and Lakes (DID)

  • Dams (PWD)


The Economic Activities Thematic Databases and their respective custodian agencies are:

  • Sand Mining (DID)

  • Mining (Mineral and Geoscience Department)

  • Coastal Reclamation (DID)

  • Eco-Tourism (SEPU, Min. of Culture Arts and Tourism)

  • Artifact (Museum Department)

  • Aquaculture (Fisheries Department)

  • Agricultural Crops (Min. of Primary Industry, DOA)

  • Navigation ( DID, Marine Department )


The River Corridor Management Thematic Databases and their respective:

  • River Crossings and Jetties

  • River Reserve


The Licensing and Approval Thematic Databases and their respective custodian agencies are :

  • Land Alienation & Conversion (Land and Mines Office )

  • Development Planning Approval

  • Mining Approval ( Land and Mines Office )

  • Water Abstraction Approval ( Land and Mines Office )

  • Sewerage Approval & Services ( Dept. of Sewerage Services )

  • Environmental Impact Assessment Approval ( DOE )


The Environmental Management Thematic Databases and their respective 
custodian agencies are :

  • Water Quality

  • Water Pollution Source Inventory ( DOE )

  • Solid Waste Management ( Local Authority )

  • Wildlife Reserves ( Department of Wildlife & National Parks )

  • Fauna ( Department of Wildlife & National Parks )

  • Wetlands ( Department of Wildlife & National Parks/Forestry Department )


The land-use management Thematic Databases and their respective custodian 
agencies are :

  • Development Planning

  • Forest Management ( Forestry Department )

  • Land-use ( DOA )

  • Topography ( Survey and National Mapping Department )

  • Soils ( DOA )

  • Geology (Mineral and Geoscience Department)

  • Orang Asli Reserve Database (Aborigines Affairs Department)


The Other Thematic Databases and their respective custodian agencies are:

  • Population Housing Census Database (Statistics Department)

  • Squatter (Land and Mines Office)

  • Institutional Database (RB-DSS Secretariat & Custodian Agencies)

  • River Basin Laws and Guidelines Database (RB-DSS Secretariat & Custodian Agencies)

  • River Basin Documents Database (RB-DSS Secretariat & Custodian Agencies)




The information management plan for the RB-IMS follows the format of 
information management for the River Basin Decision Support System (RB-DSS), where information are collated and integrated, first from district to states and then to the federal level. Thus, there shall be a "National RB-IMS Database", which shall be an integration of "State-level RB-IMS Databases". The "State-Level RB- IMS Databases" shall be an integration of "District-level 
RB-IMS Databases"


The RB-IMS databases is envisaged to be a massive linked, multi-directory, multi-theme, multi-agency information databases that has to be 
developed over multiple phases, over a long time frame. Thus, the work to 
develop the draft structure of the database is expected to be iterative. In 
order to manage the inter-connected complexity of the numerous thematic 
databases the Consultant has use the MultiCentrix Information Management program to develop the RB-IMS framework database.


The Consultant recommends that the information in a RB-IMS database be 
classified under 4 levels of information security. They are : 

  • Public Access

  • Inter-Agency Access

  • Intra-Agency Access

  • Restricted Access to designated individuals

The Consultant recognises that the effectiveness of the updating system fo RB-IMS information database will be a critical factor in determining the success of the RB-IMS information database. Thus, the Consultant has recommended "incentive-based" updating scheme, where each Custodian Agency, at different levels (Federal, States and Districts) shall be provided with their own RB- IMS thematic information databases for updating. All Custodian Agencies continue to operate their respective routine, operational data collection databases (hydrological, water quality, etc). The RB-IMS information databases shall only provide meta-data type information for the decision-makers.


All the thematic databases, at various levels, are to be "carved out" from a single,master RB-IMS database framework, based on. the "Plug-In" updating concept. The "Plug-In" updating concept requires the respective RB-IMS stakeholder agencies to bum copies of their respective Thematic Information database on CDs at scheduled intervals. The CDs shall then be sent to the next level "Integrating Body" for merging and updating.


The IT infrastructure required to support the development of the RB-IMS is modest compared to those required to support the RB-GIS. The nature of most of the information in the RB-IMS does not require real-time updates. Thus, the Consultant has proposed a pragmatic, low-cost and practical approach to update and disseminate the RB-IMS information through the use of CD back-ups.

The recommended RB-IMS IT system at the Technical Secretariat level will normally comprise ofa Local Area Network with 5-10 computers, a server with a network version of MultiCentrix and a web server connected to the Internet the district level the RB-IMS IT system may comprise only of a stand-alone, general user computer equipped with a CD-Writer and a single-user licence of the MultiCentrix program.

The proposed RB-DSS, at the Federal and State levels, has to be managed by custodian agencies. Since the participation of all river basin related government agencies is necessary for the success of the RB-DSS the Consultant recommends that the Federal and State Economic Planning Unit (EPU) be the custodian agencies for the RB-DSS.

The Federal DID should act as the Technical Secretariat to the Federal EPU in managing the RB-DSS, during the interim period before the set-up of a separate National RB-DSS Secretariat. Similarly, the State DID should act as the Technical Secretariat for the RB-DSS at the State level. However, for the States of Selangor and Sabah, the recently constituted Lembaga Urns Air Selangor (LUAS) and the Sabah Waters Resources youncil, respectively, should be the custodians for the RB-DSS, and should set-up their own Technical Secretariats.

The sharing of information between all river basin related agencies and also with NGOs that have useful river basin information is essential for the success of integrated river basin management. Thus, the Consultant recommends that the RB-DSS Secretariat at each level should sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with participating agencies and NGOs on the sharing of information. The MOA can describe the types of information to be shared in the RB-IMS, how they are to be distributed, the cost of information and the level of security on the access and use of the information.


The RB-IMS framework provides a uniform and consistent electronic platform for the collection, organisation, sharing, dissemination and archiving of all river basin management related information. Thus, the Consultant recommends that all current and future river basin studies should adopt the guidelines defined in the RB-IMS framework and comply with its generic requirements on collection, organisation, sharing, dissemination and archiving of information.



The following are the Consultant's overall recommendations to the Government:

  1. To adopt the draft RB-IMS framework developed in Phase 1 for use in the populating the following four selected river basins in Phase 2 of the study.           

  • Sungai Kuantan, Pahan

  • Sungai Muar, Johore and Negri Sembilan

  • Sungai Sarawak, Sarawak

  • Sungai Moyog, Sabah

  1. To adopt the MultiCentrix Information Mapping Program for use in the mapping of information in the RB-IMS.

  2. To develop the National Register of Rivers RB-IMS database in Phase 2 of the study, based on the river coding system developed in Phase 1 of the study.

  3. To develop the operational system of the RB-IMS for Did, for the four selected river basins in Phase 2.

  4. To develop the river basin and river-related GIS layers, for the four selected river basins in Phase 2.



Last Updated 2017-05-12 02:01:09 by Administrator

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