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More rain on the way – and that’s a good thing

Monday 19 December 2022 | Written by Matthew Littlewood | Published in Environment, Local, National

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More rain on the way – and that’s a good thing
To Tatou Vai spokesperson Walter Tuarae-White. 22083110

Recent rain has provided further relief for Rarotonga’s catchment intakes, with more predicted for the coming days.

MetService director Arona Ngari said from 8am Wednesday to 8am Thursday, Rarotonga received 19.7 millimetres of rain, while from 8am Thursday to 8am on Friday, there was another 43.2mm of rain.

“There’s a trough still hanging over the Southern Cooks, and it’s likely to bring rain,” Ngari said.

However, despite the recent batch of rain, total rainfall was about 50mm lower than the December average, Ngari said

“It’s still drier than normal overall, but the good news is that there’s still more rain to come,” he added.

Ngari’s comments come after reports that several catchment intakes were at less than 50 per cent of their average storage.

However, water authority To Tatou Vai said there had been some positive news for the catchment intakes recently.

“Our catchment intakes are back up to optimum capacity apart from the western catchment Ngatoe at around 85-90 per cent, which hasn’t quite topped up yet,” To Tatou Vai spokesman Walter Tuarae-White said on Friday.  

“The recent rain has been a real boost, especially for the fact it has been steady and looks to continue into the weekend. This is a great relief for the upcoming festive season, with Cook Islands families returning home.”

Tuarae-White said the forecast is still for a drier than normal festive season, “so we are still cautious and don’t want to be complacent in the way we use water”.

“Fix those leaks around the house and plantations and think long term. When things dry up again, we want to ensure we don’t have water loss,” he said.

“We would hope the dry spell doesn’t eventuate. Ideally it’ll be great if catchment intake levels are at 80 per cent. However, we can’t control the rain.

“Our water supply is reliant on rain. The next best thing to mitigate water shortages is to conserve it, use it wisely and be mindful of how bad things were during the past dry spell.”

Tuarae-White said island residents’ water usage is way too high.

He said people in Rarotonga used about 1000 litres a day.

“We have enough to sustain our needs between rain events. However, there is far too much that unfortunately is wasted.

“This then causes problems when we have an extended dry period like the recent one we had.”