Penrhyn water OK for now

Friday November 16, 2018 Written by Published in Outer Islands

Water shipments to Penrhyn ended last month following a three-month dry spell leading up to Constitution celebrations.

 

Penryn executive officer Tukairangi Joseph Taia says the three-weekly 100,000 litre shipments that they had been receiving since early July were a valuable commodity during their dry spell, but are no longer needed.

She says by the end of July, and the arrival of another government water shipment to the island, they were “blessed when the rains came.”

Although the water shortage remained critical on the island at the time, Taia says there has been consistent rain activity since and the islands water capacity is now high.

However, with a long-term dry period still forecast by the meteorological service until early next year, the island is looking to improved water conservation practices in the future.

Taia says because Penrhyn relies solely on rain water, they have embarked on a project to improve all of the village tanks on both islands.

This project is nearly complete, with all of Omoka’s tanks topped up and in use. On Tongareva (Penrhyn), one remaining tank requires a cover.

However, a large underground storage tank situated beneath the Omoka Hospital is currently unable to be used due to cracking.

Future conservation practices, she adds, may include water tanks situated alongside government buildings to catch rainwater.

Local resident Warwick Latham says he has been putting this idea forward to local government for some time.

“We’ve got hundreds of square meters of roof covering government buildings, but we’re not catching any water.”

Arona Ngari of the Cook Islands Metrological Services says there has been an inactiveness of the South Pacific Convergence zone, which is currently fluctuating between the Northern and Southern group.

“It’s raining in the ocean but not on land,” he says.

He adds however now that we’ve entered into the cyclone season, we should all still be preparing for strong winds from the build-up of weather systems.   

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