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Crackdown on water wasters

Friday 16 February 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in Environment, Local, National


Crackdown on water wasters
The image shared by To Tatou Vai shows a water hose left to run into a pig pen in Titikaveka. TTV suspects the water has been running 24/7 for months. The water agency has spoken to the owner about managing the water usage. TTV/24021214

The Rarotonga water agency has disconnected supply to ‘unoccupied’ properties on the island for water misuse, urging residents to conserve water.

In the last three months, To Tatou Vai (TTV) has disconnected the water supply to about 40 properties where there has been evidence of negligent water misuse.

Responding to queries from Cook Islands News, the water agency on Wednesday said that these were usually unoccupied properties where water had been left running.

In a recent statement, To Tatou Vai shared an image of a water hose left to run into a pig pen in Titikaveka that was reported to them.

“It has been running 24/7 for months we suspect. This kind of careless use of water doesn't help. In the meantime, we are receiving calls from residents in Titikaveka who have no water,” the statement said.

“For those people out there who are disregarding our notices of saving water and who continue to run your hoses 24/7 and to those that are still water blasting your shopfronts and driveways. Please stop. Be warned we will now disconnect any water service on vacant land that leaks or is left to run continuously when they are reported to us.

“We thank our community members who have called in leaks and wasteful water use.”

The newspaper asked TTV if it had disconnected water service running into the pig pen, how many services had been disconnected so far, and how effective this strategy had been in clamping down on water wastage around the island.

The water authority said that in several cases where water was left running continuously at a pig pen, TTV chose not to disconnect, “but spoke to the owners about managing the water usage”.

“The agency continues to monitor the situation.”

To Tatou Vai chief executive Tereapii Timoti says it’s difficult to judge exactly what the effect of cutting off water to sections where it’s being wasted is, until users have water meters.

But Timoti expects that once leaks and wastage have been eliminated, the water system will remain charged and there will be fewer incidents of low pressure or no water.

“At the moment the water intakes are at a very low level, only about half of normal. So water conservation and stopping waste are paramount,” he said on Wednesday.

“Report any leaking taps or pipes; or wastage to us, so we can do something about it. Water is life.”