A leaking water pipe during extremely dry conditions wastes water. Picture:TTV/22112317
The recent ‘light rain’ had no impact on the water intakes due to the extremely dry weather, and some areas on the island are without water due to the lack of flows in the catchment stream intakes.
To Tatou Vai’s Walter Tuarae-White says five of its
catchments are producing less than 50 per cent of their output, adding the
Rarotonga water network is under stress to provide water to some locations
across the island.
The Ngatoe water intake which feeds the backroad
districts from Rutaki to the Rarotonga hospital is down to 35 per cent of its
flow “which is causing supply issues in the area”.
“Avana our largest catchment that supplies the main
road areas from Avana through to Blackrock is down 50 per cent of its flow.”
The total water output as of Monday, November 21 across
the 10 intakes on the island was 12,165 cubic metre per day.
Taking into consideration that the residential
population is approximately 10,000 plus 2000 visitors, “an estimate would
suggest we are consuming approximately 1000L per person per day”, said
“From a water usage perspective, this very high.
“If you are living on the lowest parts of the island
or near the coast, remember when you open your tap you are depriving people
inland of water. So be sure to shut off your tap and use water sparingly.
“We encourage everybody to fix your leaks, don’t let
water run continuously and to conserve water.”
Tuarae-White also said the recent spike in scrub fires
on the island had resulted in unnecessary use of water.
The firefighting teams have reported they have used
over 10,000 litres to bring fires under control in the past week or so.
“We support their (Volunteer Fire Services) calls for
our community to be a lot more conscious of the current dry conditions and
prevailing winds,” said Tuarae-White.
“We simply cannot afford to dispense water in this
manner under the present circumstances, so please if you are going to burn near
scrub/bush be mindful it will spread very quickly.
“Please consider the welfare of our volunteer fire
fighters, burning scrub rubbish in the current conditions isn’t safe and can
get out of control and endanger properties and possibly lives.”
On Monday in Titikaveka, a buried tree/log rubbish
fire attended to by the Takitumu Volunteer Fire Brigade used up to 1500 litres of
water to keep it under control.
After calls from worried neighbours who could see
embers blowing up with the increased winds, the
Takitumu Fire Brigade returned to the scene that evening.
Takitumu Volunteer Fire Brigade chief Alistair
Macquarie said working from 10.30pm to 1.30am, the firefighters used up 11,000
litres of water through the night to douse the fire which had spread
underground beneath old dumped tree logs.
“We are a volunteer fire service, we have to call
people up, and get the trucks ready… people need to pay attention and think
before they light any fires in high winds and dry conditions. Water is wasted
on putting out unnecessary fires.”