As far back as 2012 I have been writing letters in this same vein.
Low rainfall and drought conditions are not
uncommon at this time of the year and on every occasion we find ourselves so
confronted the hands wring in despair
and conservation practices encouraged – and then it rains – the intakes are
full – we hose our cars again and enjoy longer showers and a full flush – until next time.
This cycle has been going on for years and
our fancy new network is only as good as there is water in it to deliver.
Each time I have written I have questioned
whether all this anguish is warranted. I have suggested several times that we
are probably sitting on a vast underground water resource and that there should
be a study/exploration/bores done to establish just what exactly is down there
and whether there were sufficient volumes into which we could tap to alleviate
shortages during droughts. Nothing ever eventuates because it has rained, the
taps are flowing again and our capability and vision does not extend beyond the
Meanwhile people are paying good money to
fill their tanks so they can maintain some modicum of a normal existence.
Finally, in late 2017, it came to my
attention that the engineers involved in monitoring water flows and lagoon
health established what I have long been preaching namely that we are in fact
sitting on an unexploited aquifer which potentially could have been supplying
us with potable water conceivably at less cost and capable of sustaining us
through those drought times which, clearly, Te Mato Vai cannot do.
So what is being done about it? We have
this new agency TTV (To Tatou Vai). Is this not something they should be
looking at because if the current drought continues the island could be in
If there is no water, or restricted supply,
or harsh conditions imposed on users it would not matter if the borders opened,
who would travel in those circumstances?
Adding the demands of even a modest 1-2000
tourists a day on present supplies and what little water was available would
quickly dry up so no water means no tourists such is the inter-dependency.