Finding solutions to water shortage

Monday 1 February 2021 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion


Finding solutions to water shortage

Dear Editor 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 ephemeral!

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 serious trouble?

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.

John M Scott