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LAKENA HILL UPDATE.

The Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) would like to provide a further update with regard to the disruptions faced by our customers served by the Raralevu Reservoir, in particular, residents in the elevated areas, such as Lakena Hill.

WAF Chief Operating Officer, Seru Soderberg said that Lakena Hill residents may face issues in receiving a consistent supply of water when reservoir levels are low as a result of bad weather conditions affecting production, as well as general high usage.

“Lakena Hill is on the highest areas within the supply zone, with other areas roughly at road level elevation, and as an elevated area, supply is heavily dependent on the level of water retained within the Raralevu Reservoir,” said Mr Soderberg.

“During the day, water levels drop significantly due to the high demand from the outlet of the Reservoir and water levels from this point fluctuate and vary in relation to the amount of usage that takes place over the day as well as in relation to the climatic conditions – hotter and drier days generally result in a quicker decline.”

“In addition to this, there is also high demand from the offtakes to the inlet of the Reservoir, that is, a pumping main which directly serves the greater Nausori area – due to the limited storage capacity at the Reservoir itself – as well as supplies water into the Reservoir.”

“To address the now depleted water reserves, after taking water consumption from the Reservoir outlet and offtakes into account, we have no choice but to carry out valve operations from 9:00 pm until 6:00 am daily, at the Vuci Bypass and Nausori Offtake, to assist with filling and level retention at the Raralevu Reservoir.”

Mr Soderberg added that depending on the behaviour of the system and the rate of water consumption, these daily operations may be done at a time earlier than what has been scheduled.

“While we understand that these works may frustrate customers, it is a necessary step that we need to take in order to ensure that all of our customers serviced by the Reservoir are able to receive water the following day.”

“Additionally, the teams are working to balance the inflow and outflow of the Reservoir to control and slow the drop in water levels. This task requires constant and close monitoring and customers, as a result, may suddenly experience low water pressure and in the worst-case scenario, no water supply. Leak reduction is also a key point of focus for our teams.”

Mr Soderberg further added that the measures currently in place are only temporary and plans are in progress to create a more permanent solution, but in the meantime, has asked customers to approach the situation with patience and understanding.

“In recent years, the Suva-Nausori Corridor has experienced an exponential increase in population and to cater to this, with the assistance of Fijian Government and various partners, have commenced with the Rewa River Water Supply Project.”

“Once completed, this project will supply at least 40 megalitres of water a day, leading to an increased volume of water being supplied, to cater to the increasing demand from customers due to the increase in population size.”

“For the time being, we kindly ask for our customers’ continuing patience and understanding. We also request that customers use water wisely and take proactive steps to safeguard themselves from the impact of water disruptions by collecting and storing enough water to cater for at least 2 to 3 days worth of use when it is available.”

For further enquiries, customers can call 3346777 or shortcode 5777 (all mobile networks) or email contact@waf.com.fj

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