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Infographic update | Malaysia

To celebrate our first in-person Hub Assembly since the COVID-19 pandemic, we produced a series of infographics to capture some of our achievements to date, including key research findings and exciting next steps in each of our Collaboratories.

10 January 2023

Illustrative image - infographic summarising the Malaysia Collaboratory's key achievements and plans


Objective: To enable integrated river basin management in the Johor River Basin

Key findings and activity

The Malaysia Collaboratory’s investigations in the Johor River Basin (JRB) have revealed that the main water quality issue is Total Suspended Solids (TSS) – solids in water that can be trapped by a filter. Over the past decade the land use cover for rubber plantations has decreased, whilst the number of oil palm mills in the basin has increased and lead to mill effluent becoming a leading pollution source, alongside poultry farms. Increasingly unpredictable rainfall patterns and climate change impacts mean key water storage facilities and dams face higher risks of shortages, whilst extreme weather events are predicted to increase in terms of both frequency and severity.  

Our Malaysian colleagues have co-created seven successful programmes around awareness, education, and citizen science, strengthening relationships with communities, stakeholders, and education providers in the Johor River Basin. The team has successfully launched a Malaysia River Basin Sustainability Index (MyRIBASIN), a tool designed to assist decision makers in managing river basins and water resources sustainably. They have also been invited by the Malaysian government to lead on the development of a National Sewerage Action Plan, in line with both the 2040 Water Transformation Plan and the National Water Policy.

Next steps

Co-created solutions are crucial to the Malaysia Collaboratory’s work. The team is working with stakeholders to empower and improve coordination between departments and agencies responsible for water, shaping water policy for integrated river basin management. Hub researchers are working collaboratively with multiple organisations to improve monitoring within the river basin for both environmental and public health purposes, establishing a water quality network across South-east Asia. To help fill data gaps our Malaysian colleagues are developing citizen science projects, and hosting education and awareness programmes with communities and schools in the JRB to improve understanding on water and climate change. Next steps include the development of a web-based geographic information system (GIS) database management platform, and collaborative research with colleagues in Leeds and India on water risk frameworks and water sensitive planning. 

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