What We Do: Water

What is Sustainable Water Management?

Water Management controls water resources to ensure its efficiently allocated to all users on campus but also minimising the impact on the environment. The different uses of water across campus must be balanced to avoid misuse and over consumption of the water.  

What We Do: Water

Focus Areas


• Rainwater Harvesting
Rainwater Harvesting was implemented in 2017 to reduce constraint on the limited clean water for human consumption. The rainwater is used to water the foliage on the campus grounds. Other initiatives by the Facilities Department include installing hand dryers in the campus restrooms to reduce paper usage and increasing the number of drinking water fountains to reduce usage of disposable water bottles.
In 2020, the education group saved a total of 817m3 of water through rainwater harvesting. The total amount of rainwater stored is used for landscape maintenance and cleaning outdoor areas.

• Water Conservation Programme

In urban environments, storm water which runoff non-permeable ground surface covered by concrete, tar or buildings often collect pollutants before flowing into local waterways such as rivers and lakes. These pollutants will accumulate and lead to sedimentation and erosion. As a measure to prevent surface water run-off, all ground areas on campus are laid with concrete pavements which are water permeable.  This allows stormwater to get absorbed into the soil and refill underground water sources.

Sunway University has installed alternative pipes that are connected to Sun-Water from the South Quay Lake Water Plant. This state-of-the-art water treatment facility owned by Sunway Group has a targeted portable water capacity of 10 million litres per day (MLD). In case of a water disruption, the University will be able to have its own water supply from this plant. 


• Water-Conscious Building Standard
Implementation of District cooling system – centralised chill water supplied to the entire campus has reduced water consumption by 30%.

High-Efficiency Chillers
District cooling system
Hitachi Chiller System Plan

Water-efficient fittings are also installed to minimize water consumption. This includes: 

  1. Bidet for washroom - Able to control the water flow rate
  2. Self-closing tap system for hand-basin and sensor taps
  3. Low-flow urinals
  4. Dual flush water closet

• Water Consumption Tracking



SYABAS is the water concessionaire company supplying treated water to the state of Selangor as well as the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya in Malaysia. Raw water sourced mostly from surface water collected by dams, lakes and rivers, is treated at designated water treatment plants. 
The Selangor water works is run by Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Air Selangor), a state-owned company. Our University's water tracking is recorded here.

water meter


• Water-Conscious Planting
Plants also consume water and take a toll on the scarce and precious freshwater resource on earth. In order to ensure that freshwater for human consumption is conserved, the University chooses plants which are drought tolerant and require minimal watering. Coupled with the water re-use from rainwater harvesting system on campus, this will help to ensure the number of people suffering from water scarcity is reduced globally.

drought-tolerant plants on campus



• IChemE 2018 Global Award in the Water Category  
Professor Mohamed Kheireddine Aroua, Head of the Research Centre for Carbon Dioxide Capture and Utilisation and Associate Dean (Research) for the School of Science and Technology at Sunway University won the IChemE 2018 Global Award in the Water Category in November 2018. 

The IChemE Water category award recognises the best project or process to demonstrate engineering excellence in water use, clean-up, and reuse, with particular emphasis on reducing environmental impact while preserving commercial viability. The project, which was carried out in collaboration with Professor Ir. Dr Mohamed Azlan Hussain of the University of Malaya, is the “Self-Cleaning Ultrafiltration System Producing Clean Water.”

The innovative self-cleaning system has been used during the severe floods in the state of Kelantan, to produce clean water for flood victims. A few units of the system have been installed in remote villages without access to clean water in Sarawak and Perak.

Professor Mohamed Kheireddine won the IChemE 2018 Global Award in the Water Category



• World Water Day on Campus
Sunway University celebrates World Water Day by educating students on ways to save water on campus and at home through videos and campaign activities. 

Watch: 4 Ways On How We Value Water on Campus

However, reminders to adhere to water-conserving practices are on campus all throughout the year, through posters in the lavatory and above sinks in eating areas. 



• Water Refill Stations
In conjunction with the launch of the #TheLastStraw campaign on 13th July 2018, the University has stopped selling water in single-use plastic bottles on campus from the campaign launch onwards.

The pilot initiative introduces the free refilling stations on campus to eliminate the use or purchase of plastic water bottles on campus and to ensure free drinking water is easily accessible to all individuals on campus including staff, students and visitors.

Water refilling stations on campus



• Water Security Project
Sunway University researcher Dr. Chen Jit Ern collaborated with a local developer in 2021 to examine South Quay Lake's water quality and provide a scientific basis and predictions on long-term solutions for maintaining and improving lake water quality – through hydrological and ecological research.

The outcomes of the study will provide baseline information on the condition of the lake, develop recommendations for improvement measures, as well as to generate sustainable remedies to ensure the lake quality is improved in both the short term and long term. This study commenced in 2021 and is expected to be completed by 2023. 

South Quay Lake
South Quay Lake

Water Sector Transformation Agenda 2040 (WST2040) 
Under the 12th Malaysia Plan, the WST2040 aspires to “transform the water sector from an economic enabler into a dynamic economic sector as the future direction of national growth. In 2020, the Academy of Sciences Malaysia was appointed by the EPU as its strategic partner to undertake the Study on Water Sector Transformation Agenda 2040 (WST2040), to transform the water sector from an enabler to becoming a dynamic growth engine by 2040 as stated in the 12th Malaysia Plan (12th MP). 

The nation aims to achieve a secure, sustainable, and vibrant water industry in Malaysia to forge it into a dynamic, efficient, sustainable, and revenue-generating industry. The five focused areas of WST2040 are empowering people as the drivers of the transformation, strengthening governance, enhancing data-driven decision-making, ensuring sustainable financing, and developing sustainable and cost-effective infrastructure.

This study, led by researchers at the Institute for Global Strategy and Competitiveness at Sunway University and in collaboration with the Academy of Sciences Malaysia, introduced an ecosystem approach to transforming the water sector into a dynamic economic sector while ensuring water security and sustainability. This is built upon the 8i-innovation framework, 8R Philosophy of Water, and the 10-10 MySTIE Framework.

wst 2040
Water Sector Transformation Agenda 2040
Environmental Sustainability

Related Policies

Sunway University is committed to responsible use of water in our operations. Landscape and irrigation needs are supplied by harvested rainwater, to reduce usage of potable water supplies. Indoor water reduction policies include usage of water efficient sanitary fittings such as  self-closing aerated taps, low-flow urinals and water closets that are certified with Water Efficient Products Labelling Scheme (WEPLS). Click the link below for more information:

Student-led Initiatives

Activities/Student-led Initiatives/Related Stories

Activities / News

SDG Library Exhibition: SDG 6 Clean Water and Sanitation

In conjunction with every annual Local Action for Global Goals campaign, the University hosted this year's public SDG Exhibition at the University library. SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation focuses on water regulations throughout the University building, focused research on accessible and clean…

Sunway Student Volunteers: Gardener for a Day

In collaboration with local NGO – Free Tree Society KL, the University provided free educational opportunities for students and the community about good water management in relation to gardening and plant life management.

Stormwater/Rainwater Harvesting System

Sunway University uses a rainwater harvesting system to efficiently manage our water resource. These systems are placed across campus.

Water Security & Conservation

Sunway University research team led by Dr Chen Jit Ern supports off-campus water conservation work as an expert advisor to a local developer in lake health monitoring around the city.

Water Sector Transformation Agenda 2040 (WST2040)

The Economic Planning Unit (EPU) of the Government of Malaysia has partnered with expert advisors and researchers from the Sunway Institute for Global Strategy and Competitiveness at Sunway University in a study that span the areas of education and advocacy to the water-food-energy nexus and…