GIS - September 26, 2012: The present water situation in Mauritius is much more comfortable than last year and no drastic cuts are envisaged by the Central Water Authority (CWA) for the time being. The Chairperson of the CWA, Mr Prem Saddul, said at a press conference on 24 September in the presence of high officials of the Water Resources Unit (WRU) and the Meteorological Services.
Mr Saddul underlined the need to manage the situation as the country is entering in the dry season, adding that 50% of water is obtained from boreholes, 30% from reservoirs and 20% from rivers. He pointed out that water from boreholes has started to decrease and hence the need to manage the situation. On that score, he made an appeal to the population to use water judiciously, to have recourse to rainwater for non potable uses and to continue to do rain harvesting.
According to the Meteorological Services, for the winter period from May to October 2012, 458 mm of rain has been recorded, representing 73% of winter rainfall. The rainfall recorded is as follows: May (117%), June (68%), July (84%), August (67%) and September (50%). The long term mean rainfall (1971-2000) from May to October is 666 mm.
Latest figures from the WRU show that water levels in the reservoirs are as follows: Mare aux Vacoas 77,2% ; La Nicolière 43,9 %; La Ferme 60 %; Mare Longue 65 %; Piton du Milieu 71,9 % and Midlands 95,5%. Midlands which was closed from 10 February has been opened on 14 September to supply water to La Nicolière.
According to Director of the WRU, Mr Dhaneshwar Deepchand, the water levels in boreholes and rivers are decreasing with Grand River North West at 60%, Rivière du Poste 35%, rivers feeding Mont Blanc 20% and Grand River South East 20%. Groundwater production at Holyrood is at 74%, Pierrefonds 55% and Morcellement St André 62%.
The Acting General Manager, Mr Dev Aukle, gave a brief overview of the major ongoing projects of the CWA. More than Rs 700 million have been injected in projects which aim at modernising water distribution and replacing pipes so as to attain a round the clock water supply to all.
Some of the projects are: transfer of water from Mt Ida reservoir to L’Unité reservoir at the tune of Rs 100 million; replacement of 20 km of pipeline from Quartier Militaire to Salazie at the cost of Rs 150 million; extension of 8,5 km of pipeline to the tune of Rs 107 million from Plaine des Papayes to Triolet; construction of a 13,4 km of pipeline for Camp Fouquereux and Alma regions which cost Rs 267 million; replacement of existing Beemanique-Balisson pipeline with 300 pipes to the tune of Rs 40 million; and the improvement of water supply in the South East Coast Project phase 2.
Other national projects which are being implemented comprise the following constructions: Bagatelle Dam at the cost of Rs 3,4 billion which is expected to be completed in December 2014; Rivière du Poste Dam which aims at mobilising additional water resources to Mare aux Vacoas; Rivière des Anguilles dam which will ensure water supply from Plaine Magnien to Tamarin regions; rehabilitation of La Ferme reservoir and a feasibility study in view of increasing water storage at La Nicolière.