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OpenGov speaks to Norizan Binti Harun, Department for Irrigation and Drainage, Malaysia

The Department of Irrigation and Drainage (JPS) has integrated innovative solutions to improve its management of water resources throughout Malaysia. Since they have been under the direction of the Ministry of Natural Resource & Environment, JPS has taken on new and expanded responsibilities over the past few years.

Today, the JPS’s duties include management of: River Basin and Coastal Zone resources; Water Resources and Hydrology; Special Projects; Flood Assessment; and Eco-friendly Drainage.

Throughout these areas, JPS has looked into how ICT can be used to improve the management and delivery of their services, so as to better prepare citizens when it comes to water management.

OpenGov recently had the chance to catch up with Ms. Norizan Binti Harun, CIO, Department for Irrigation and Drainage, Malaysia. Her Department had just won the Malaysia OpenGov Excellence Award 2015 for Excellence in Mobility. She told us about her role, how JPS is using data analytics to produce smart insights which help their duties in irrigation and drainage.

Ms.Norizan Binti Harun’s role comprises of infrastructure management across JPS divisions. To put it simply, JPS provides services for flood mitigation and preparedness to Malaysian citizens, she operates the IT infrastructure to deliver this information

“The focus of my business is infrastructure administration for all divisions within our department, platform testing, and information management,” said Ms. Norizan Binti Harun.

Ms.Norizan Binti Harun was pleasantly surprised that her team had won the award for “Excellence in Analytics for Mobility”. Yet, JPS has already transferred several services into online platforms, including Public InfoBanjirTips, JPS Drought Info portal, e-Payment portal For Hydrological Data and Penchala GIS.

“In our plan, we try to focus our attention towards the application of connected devices,” stated Ms. Norizan Binti Harun, “For every new application that we introduce, we will have this in mind. This drives mobility and greater capabilities for our services.” Keeping this in mind, allows the department to continue moving forward with technology, rather than waiting to keep up with it.

JPS controls a lot of equipment which feeds sensor data back to their department. They are using this data for advanced GIS modelling. This provides advanced intelligence on the status of water resources throughout the country, which helps to improve their service management.

In 2015, JPS introduced their data management system for river level intake. Currently, Ms. Norizan Binti Harun is working on how to develop an early-warning system for JPS to detect potential for flooding in an area.

Moving forward, JPS will look at developing their forecasting abilities through the year 2017. They will be incorporating monitoring sensors, increasing their digital platforms, and creating an early warning system. They will continue their efforts to mobilise all of their services through the year 2020 and beyond.

The Department of Irrigation and Drainage continues to innovate the way their department operates, through continued adaption to an ever-growing mobile landscape. Through this, the department is able to provide its citizens with more modern and up-to-date support. 

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