The Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) Board of Directors, Government team, and WAF senior management met today (04/09) (second meeting) to discuss the update on the current water situations around the country and its impacts due to the dry weather spells.
WAF Chairman, Mr. Bhavesh Kumar updated the Government team on the regional-situation on the ground regarding water levels and the preventative measures that are in place.
So far, in the Central/Eastern Division, eight of the seventeen water sources have reached its critical levels – Waimanu Source (Navatuvula) at 273MLD, Wailoku Head Works 1 at 0.71MLD, Vago Source (Cascade) at 5.6MLD, Wainikavika Source at 1.37MLD, Vunidawa Source at 1.18MLD.
On Levuka Island, the Totogo Source is currently flowing at 0.198MLD, Waitovu Source at 0.604MLD and the Levuka Vakaviti Source at 0.25MLD.
For the Western Division, five out of the fourteen water sources have critical levels – for Rakiraki – the Nakasia Dam is currently discharging 0.35MLD, Narara Dam is at 0.26MLD. In Ba, the Balevuto Dam is discharging 1.8MLD. For Lautoka, the Nalau Dam, currently discharges 4.90MLD and the Buabua Dam is at 4.60MLD.
In the Northern Division, six out of the fourteen water sources have reached its critical level points, Nasealevu at 3.54MLD, Nasalasala at 0.51 MLD, Vunika at 0.05MLD, Savudrodro at 2.16MLD, Savuloaloa at 0.02MLD and Nabouwalu at 0.77MLD.
With WAF’s forty-five water sources nationwide – 39.50% have reached critical level, 2.38% is yet to reach critical stages, and 58.12% are normal. Mitigation measures such as the construction of temporary coffer dams, water rationing, as well as water carting have been put in place.
“It is of great importance to hold these meetings to allow us all to be on top of things in terms of water supply due to the climatic changes resulting in the dry spells that are being experienced throughout the country,” said WAF Chairman, Mr. Bhavesh Kumar.
“I reiterate and urge members of the public on the importance to please, practice water conservation by ways of minimizing on the washing of cars, driveways as well as watering of gardens,” said Mr. Kumar.
With the rural water carting schedule in circulation and regularly updated, affected rural communities are to follow the schedule to track their area delivery times and make available empty vessels for refilling – upon receiving water, customers are to sign off a register which will be given by the WAF water carting tallyman.
The Director for Fiji Meteorological Services, Mr Ravind Kumar also provided update on the current dry spell situation affecting the country.
WAF General Manager Customer Services, Mr Sekove Uluinayau said the Authority continues to assist affected customers facing water shortages through water carting.
“For the month of August, WAF has carted over 40 million litres of water to customers affected around the country, 3.5 million litres in the Central Division, 22 million litres in the Western Division and 14.5 million in the Northern Division,” explained Mr Uluinayau.
Water tanks are also being placed at strategic locations in affected areas to assist with water carting services. Affected customers can reach out to WAF on its toll-free contact line 1507 or email email@example.com where customers can make their requests for water carting services.
“We continue to encourage those that are facing issues with their water supply in the rural areas to contact WAF on toll-free number 1507, this channel of communication is kept open and we will continue to assist them in the best way that we can,” Mr Uluinayau explained.
Customers are encouraged to take note of the service order numbers which will be issued for reference and follow-up purposes.
Meanwhile, metered customers are to store sufficient amounts of water for drinking and cooking purposes for at least two days. This is due to the aged infrastructure, there are planned and unplanned water shutdowns happening. During these times of repair, customers are requested to store water and this will also assist the Authority in managing its resources efficiently.
Also, the Authority will be holding similar sessions with its stakeholders such as the Fiji Hoteliers Association and various municipality town councils around the country, to provide an update on the current situation.
Finally, the Authority is requesting members of the public to report any wastage of water seen the neighborhood by taking photos and videos and forwarding it to the Authority.