Water update August
The WATSAN Water Division of Infrastructure Cook Islands takes water pressure readings on the trunk lines that come from the water intakes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays each week. The pressure readings aswell as stream flow meter readings this month are showing a concerning drop in pressure and stream flow especially in the area from Avatiu, east to Tupapa.
“The reason we monitor the pressure is so that we can know when our water supply levels drop and we can then advise the community to conserve although we want everyone to consistently practice water conservation. It is during these low water availability times when people really have to conserve”, says Wilson Rani of the Water Division. “We can of course expect low water levels at the intakes when we haven’t had a good amount of rain for a few months, like what we are experiencing at the moment”, Rani adds.
“The stream flow meters are located above the intakes. These meters are installed so that we know the volume of water that is coming down from the valleys and into our water supply reservoirs”, says Timothy Tangirere, hydrology technician.
WATSAN tutaka in the past has shown a big problem with wasted water from old leaky taps, split pipes on private properties and hoses left on at pig pens. A disheartening finding was a house where the plumbing would have been so rotten that a stream was coming from the house. “Unfortunately we don’t have any law that gives us the power to disconnect water from dwellings when we know that there is wasted water. The Water Ordinance hasn’t changed since 1960 but upcoming new legislation being drafted now will repeal the Ordinance and control water use much more effectively”, says Rani.
A climate forecast advised that the Southern Cook Islands would experience normal or above normal rainfall over August and October. The Water Division is optimistic for more rain over the next two months but requests the public across all of Rarotonga to take the situation seriously and use water wisely as a precaution.