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25 Januari 2024





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Tarikh Kemaskini: 29 Nov 2023
Enakmen Sumber Air Negeri Sabah > Enakman Bahagian 1


I assent,


Yang di-Pertua Negeri.


No. 6 of 1998

An Enactment to provide for the sustainable management of the water resources of the State of Sabah, so as to promote the orderly, equitable and efficient use of water and to maximise its economic, social and environmental benefits for the future, and for other matters connected therewith and incidental thereto.

ENACTED by the Legislature of the State of Sabah as follows:


138            No. 6 of 1998                                     Sabah Water Resources

Short title









      1.    This  Enactment  may  be  cited  as  the   Sabah  Water  Resources

Enactment 1998 and shall come into force on such date as the Minister may,

by notification in the Gazette, appoint.


      2.    (1)  In   this  Enactment,  unless  the  context  otherwise  requires___    


             “authorised  person”  means  a  person  designated   in   writing   by

             the Director to be an authorised person;


             “aquatic   environment”   means   those   physical   and    biological

             features,  including   land,  water,  the  atmosphere,   animals   and

             plants,  which  are  within, under, over, in contact with, or sustained

             by the water in water bodies;


             “aquatic  vegetation”  means  vegetation which lives on or in water

             for all or most of its life cycle, and includes mangroves;


             “aquifer” means a  geological structure of  formation or an artificial

             landfill  permeated  or  capable  of  being  permeated permanently

             or intermittently with water;


             “bank”  in  relation  to  a  water  body,  means  any  bank, whether

             naturally or artificially formed;


             “bed”  in relation to a water body, means the land under the water

             body  bounded  by  the  banks  closest   to the  water body and  in 

             relation  to  a  water  body  subject  to  tidal influence, means  the

             land  under  the  water  body  extending to the highwater  mark of

             ordinary spring tides;


             “catchment   management  plan”  means  a  plan  prepared under

             section 34;


             “clearing of vegetation” means___


             (a)   cutting, felling, poisoning, or otherwise destroying; or


(b)   topping,  lopping,  partially  removing or otherwise damaging 

       trees,  saplings,  shrubs,  and  aquatic  or marine vegetation;


             “coastal  water” means the coastal  waters of  the State of Sabah 

             and  such  part  of  the  sea  adjacent to the coast of the State


                                 Sabah Water Resources                      No. 6 of 1998                     139


             as is deemed by law to constitute the  territorial waters of the State;


             “construct”  includes  to install, alter, extend,  raise, enlarge,  sink,  or

             deepen a structure or work;


             “Council” means the Water Resources Council established in section



             “declared   channel”   means  a   channel,  canal, drain,  or   artificial

             watercourse, which  has  been  declared  to be a declared channel in

             section 66 of this Encatment;


             “Director” means the Director of Water Resources  constituted under

             section 12(1);


             “drainage  work”  means  a  work  (such  as  a  drain, pipe or cutting)

             which discharges  water  directly or  indirectly  into a water body and

             includes a collection pit, tank, reservoir, storage or other structure to

             which  such works are connected;


             “environment”  has  the same  meaning as  assigned   to  it  in   the

             Environmental Quality Act 1974;


             “flood control  work”  includes  an  earthwork,  embankment,  levee,

             flood mitigation dam, channel or retarding basin;


             “floodplain” means the area of a river valley which is  covered  with

             water when the river overflows during floods;


             “groundwater”  means  water  occurring  under  the  surface  of  the

             ground in any  geological  formation  including alluvial  layers, or in

             land which has been reclaimed or artificially filled;


             “material”  includes  sand,  soil, gravel, stones, vegetation whether

             alive or dead, roots and other matter;


             “member” means a member of the Council including the Chairman;


             “Minister” means the Minister responsible for water resources;


             “occupier”  means  any person in actual occupation of land, and  in

             the  case  of  Native  Reserves under the Land Ordinance includes

             the head of the community;


Act 127.

Cap. 68.

140               No. 6 of 1998                         Sabah Water Resources


           "owner"  means  the   person  in  whose  name  the title to any land is

           registered  and includes any person, other than the Government, who

           receives or is entitled to receive the rent or profits of any land on that

           person's own account or on behalf of that person and others or as an



           "private  water right"  means  a  right to take and use water conferred

           under section 16;


           "public authority" includes___


(a)    the Government of Malaysia;


(b)    the Government of a State;


(c)    any local authority and any other statutory authority; or


(d)    any society, union,  organisation  or  body as  the  Minister may   

  prescribe from time to time by order published in the Gazette;


           "return  water"  means  to  drain  or discharge  water  to a water body,

           whether directly  or  indirectly,  by  means  of  constructed or artificial

           works, including a ditch, drain, whether rural or urban, channel, canal,

           pipe, culvert or penstock;


           "river"  means a  continually  or intermittently  flowing  body of water,

           and includes a stream or  modified  watercourse but does not include

           any artificial watercourse unless it is a declared channel;


           "river reserve  or  shore  reserve"  means  a  reserve  established in

           section 40;


           "shore"  in  relation  to  water  body  means  the natural or artificially

           formed shore of the water body or, where  there is no shore, means

           the boundary between the typical aquatic vegetation and the typical

           non-aquatic vegetation;


           "statutory authority" means  an authority,  whether  consisting  of  a

           single person or a body of person, established by Federal  or  State

           law   and   exercising   powers,   discharging  duties or   performing

           functions conferred  upon the authority by any Federal or State law;


           "storage  work" means a  work  which  impounds  or  stores   water,

           whether  intentionally  or  unintentionally,   in   a   water  body  and

           includes a dam, weir and embankment;


                               Sabah Water Resources                            No. 6 of 1998                 141



              "subsistence  agriculture"  means  agricultural  activity  capable  of

              sustaining  no  more  than  a  family  group,  including  commercial

              transactions  necessary   for   subsistence,  but  does  not   include

              commercial agricultural enterprise;


              "sustainable  management" in relation  to  water  resources means

              managing the use, development and protection of water resources

              in a way, or at a rate, which  enables  people  and  communities to

              provide  for  their  social, economic and cultural well-being and for

              their  health,  while  safeguarding  the  life-supporting  capacity  of

              water  and  those elements of the environment sustained by water

              bodies both in the present and the future;


              "taking  water"  means  to  remove,  divert or extract water from a

              water body, whether  the  water  is  on  or under the surface of the

              ground, by whatever  means,  including  any structure or measure

              for impounding  or  storing  water,  or  any  pump, canal, channel,

              penstock, drain, pipe, culvert, bore, well or other structure;


              "vegetation"   means  all  species  of  plants  and  trees,   whether

              terrestrial or aquatic, and any other vegetable product of  the  soil

              or water;


              "water"  means  water   flowing   over  the  ground   in  significant

              quantities,  water  in a water body and  water returned by artificial

              means  to  a  water  body,  including  drainage water, stormwater,

              wastewater, effluent and  sewage  generated  by urban, industrial

              and agricultural activities;


              "water  activity"   means   any   of   the   activities   specified   in

              subsection (1) of section 17;


              "water body" means___


(a)  a  river,  estuary,   lake,   lagoon,  swamp,   marsh  or  other



(b)  an aquifer;


(c)  coastal waters; and



142               No. 6 of 1998                             Sabah Water Resources



(d)  a declared channel;


          "water body alteration activity" means an  activity  which  involves  or is

          likely to have the effect of__


(a)   excavating material from the bed, bank or shore of a water body, or 

      from a river or shore reserve;


(b)   obstructing,   diverting   or   detrimentally   affecting   the   flow   or

      movement of water in a water body;


(c)  changing the course of a water body;


(d)   reducing  the  capacity of a water body to contain water by filling or

      other means; or


(e)   reclaiming land within a water body,


          and includes the construction and use of any work or measure for such



          For the purpose of paragraph (b) of  this  definition, an  activity or work

          may  (without affecting  the  generality  of the paragraph) consist of the

          construction of jetties, groynes, breakwaters, embankments, walkways,

          boat  ramps,  boat  moorings,   fish   and   oyster   racks,   fish   cages,

          aquaculture  ponds,  artificial  reefs  and  navigation  markers on, in or

          above a water body;


          "well"  means  an  excavation,  bore,  spear-point, collection system or

          other work that is connected  to a  source of  groundwater, whether the

          water flows naturally at all times or is raised at any time by pumping or

          other artificial means.


(2)   The  Director  may  declare that  any water body, vegetation, material,

declared  channel, or work taking and using water including storing water,
for returning water or for flood, control, whether of a specified class or type,
or in

a  particular  location,  or has  or does not have a specified effect is excluded
from the respective definitions.


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