Rarotonga residents urged to save water now

Friday June 26, 2020 Written by Published in Local
To Tatou Vai chief executive Greg Longman is urging Rarotonga residents to save water. 20022140 To Tatou Vai chief executive Greg Longman is urging Rarotonga residents to save water. 20022140

The continuing dry spell is causing Rarotonga to run short of water with three of the island’s water intakes running very low.

Unless there is significant rain in the next two weeks the intakes will run out, leaving the remaining intakes to pick up the slack, but with a drop in water pressure. 

To Tatou Vai is urging residents to reduce water use in peak times by 20 per cent and cut back overall weekly use by 10 per cent. 

Cook Islands Meteorological Service has confirmed that apart from heavy rain early in March, rainfall since has been about 35 per cent and indications for the next two months suggest about 50 per cent of normal rainfall is expected. 

To Tatou Vai chief executive Greg Longman is strongly urging people to conserve water.

“The immediate outlook for rain relief is not good. We’re asking everybody to make a real effort,” he said.

“Please turn off all unnecessary taps, report leaks so we can have them repaired immediately and growers please be sparing in your use of irrigation water.” 

Longman said if this drought continues water restrictions could come into force and people may end up paying for water to be trucked in. 

“In the longer term, we’re encouraging people to install water tanks to harvest rainwater, to supplement the reticulated supply in dry conditions.” 

To Tatou Vai staff are continuing to monitor the water situation and despite some intakes being low the water is being distributed evenly. 

Urgent attention is being paid to leaky pipes and water infrastructure is being maintained.

Essential services like the hospital and schools have their water supplies maintained at 75 per cent. 

“Overall the message to the public is to not waste water and to save as much as we can,” Longman said.

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