WATER CRISIS DEEPENS

The Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) is addressing a number of issues resulting from the ongoing drought.

Mr. OpetaiaRavai, CEO of WAF, said that from September 20, 20,000 people from 4,000 homes in selected areas in Suva will be receiving water through their taps on alternate days.

He said that on the days that they do not receive water from the taps they would receive water from water carting.

The reason for this, he said, was because of the effect the drought is having on water supplies.

?Suva is served by a number of water catchment areas; each is supplied primarily by rivers and that is the problem.

?With this drought some rivers continue to flow abundantly while others are providing much less water than usual to these catchment areas and that is affecting those areas listed in the attachment.

?Presently we have dropped more than 30% in the catchment areas which is a significant loss that is especially affecting the 4,000 homes in the Lami/Delainavesi areas.

?For Taveuni we will soon install three desalination plants that will provide sufficient water to the island. The installation should be finished in October.?

According to Mr. Ravai, there is no time frame when alternative water supply will be finished it will all depend on when normal rainfall resumes, and he continued, that in fact, if the water level drops by a further 20% then serious water restrictions will be considered.

He said that the drought is not restricted to Fiji but is a serious problem facing the Southwest Pacific and in many countries throughout the world.

He said that outside of the reticulation system (the tap water system) WAF, working with Commissioner offices, continues to distribute water through its water carts to communities, villages and to the outer-islands where required throughout Fiji.

All of Fiji is facing this drought that meteorologists are predicting will last through January of next year.

?We know that it will be increasingly challenging as the next few months unfold. That is why we are asking our customers, and in fact, everyone in Fiji to become extremely water conscious.?

He said that wise water usage is not just words but the way we must all begin to adjust to how we use this precious resource.

It is a message, he said, that we at WAF will begin to share with our customers, to show them through our water conservation programme what can be done on a daily basis to conserve water.

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