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Rarotonga resort curbs water use amid concerns, eyes groundwater

Friday 29 December 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Environment, Local, National

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Rarotonga resort curbs water use amid concerns, eyes groundwater
The Rarotongan Resort says it uses seawater to top up the swimming pool. BOOKING.com/23122804

Following concerns about water refilling at some resorts, a Rarotonga property says it has taken measures to reduce usage during the ongoing dry spell.

The Rarotongan Beach Resort and Lagoonarium chief engineer Ian Ibbetson says they have taken measures to reduce usage while maintaining customer satisfaction on the property.

Ibbetson said the resort’s waterfalls have been turned off except for the pool which is recirculated with minimal loss of water.

He said that seawater was used to top up the pool.

“When the pools are required to be topped up, we use a pump to transfer lagoon water when required,” Ibbetson said.

“We are currently exploring the option of a drive point well at the back of the property as well as one located closer to the pool to top up as required from groundwater rather than lagoon water.”

The equipment has been purchased for trial and will be implemented shortly, says Ibbetson.

Rarotonga’s water authority, To Tatou Vai (TTV), this week confirmed receiving information about resort pool refills, emphasising that this practice is unacceptable considering the island’s current water intake situation.

In response the Cook Islands Tourism Industry Council has asked its members to advise their guests, staff, and families of the ongoing drought and critical water levels.

In an email to its members, the Council wrote: “As you know, Rarotonga has been experiencing extended drought conditions and all indications are that the lack of rain will continue for several more months. Already, our intakes are at a critical level and the water system is experiencing low pressure, with some inland/back road areas not receiving any water at all.”

“In order to ensure the existing water lasts as long as possible, we all need to do our part to conserve water – both at home and at work. We recommend you make your guests, your staff, and your family aware of the ongoing drought and critical water levels and encourage them to act responsibly.

“Don’t leave taps running, promptly report leaking pipes, only run full loads of laundry, refrain from washing cars and watering gardens, limit shower times, don’t waste water.

“Be water smart and think about the low water levels every time you turn on the tap. Reduce your water usage, as every drop counts.”