GIS - 23 August, 2013: The Central Water Authority Authority (CWA) envisages to take measures to manage the water capital given that the situation is becoming increasingly difficult with only 60% rainfall during the period from May to August this year and as we are now entering the driest months of the year.
During a press conference held yesterday at St Paul, the Chairperson of CWA, Mr Prem Saddul, cautioned that water reserves in Mauritius are diminishing, while recalling that 50% of water is obtained from boreholes, 30% from reservoirs and 20% from rivers. He said that demand for water is going up as a result of the increase in industrial development, urbanisation, and rise in population, amongst others.
He made an appeal to the population to make judicious use of water, to use rainwater for non potable use and to continue to practise rain harvesting. As regards the rain water harvesting project, it is to be recalled that a water tank scheme was launched in May 2011 for households with a monthly income of less than Rs 12 000. As at date, 19 020 applications have been approved.
According to the Meteorological Services, for the winter period from May to August 2013, 245 mm of rain has been recorded, representing less than 50% of winter rainfall. The rainfall recorded was as follows: May (34%), June (65%), July (54%) and August (42%). The long term mean rainfall from May to August is 515 mm. Latest figures from the Water Resource Unit show that water levels are as follows: Mare aux Vacoas 73,9% ; La Nicolière 68,3 %; La Ferme 50,1%; Mare Longue 80,3 %; Piton du Milieu 69,2 % and Midlands 61,2%.
The Director of the Water Resources Unit, Mr Dhaneshwar Deepchand, pointed out that water levels in boreholes and that of rivers are decreasing. Groundwater production at Holyrood is at 80%, Pierrefonds 51%, Fond du Sac (66%), Trois Boutiques (83%), Yemen (79%) and Bel Air Caroline (85%).
In a brief overview, the Acting General Manager of CWA, Mr Dev Aukle, talked about the major ongoing projects in different parts of the country. Over Rs 800 million have been injected in projects which aim at modernising water distribution through the replacement of pipes so as to reach the target of 24/7 water distribution to all.
Some of the projects comprise: 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 Rs 53 million was injected for the improvement of water supply in the South East Coast Project phase II.
Other measures put in place by the CWA include the operation of six mobile pressure filters and the setting up of the Rapid Response Team with an additional six teams.
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