COOK ISLANDS: CONSERVE WATER SUPPLIES OR GET CUT OFF

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By Tara Carr

AVARUA, Rarotonga, Cook Islands (October 18 2001 – Cook Islands News)---The water pressure and water flow in streams around the island is down and some residents living in high areas are beginning to experience no water flow at all.

Department of Water Works technician Adrian Teotahi told Cook Islands News yesterday that this was not the beginning of a drought.

Last week residents living in higher areas in Ngatangiia towards Tupapa were being affected and this week those living in Titikaveka are experiencing the same situation.

Teotahi said there were low lying houses in Matavera with plantations nearby that are also being affected.

Teotahi said that the average water pressure of intakes on the eastern side of the island from July to today had dropped 11 meters in pressure.

According to raw data on the Turangi intake the water pressure level has dropped 26 meters.

Teotahi said the level used to be up to 50 meters. Readings are taken on all water intakes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Teotahi said the rain we experience during the month of September helped raise the water level slightly, but added there was a consistent drop over the last few months.

"This is awareness for members of the public and especially farmers to start conserving water now," he said.

Director of Water Works Ben Parakoti said this is a unique situation where everyone from agriculture, business and the domestic sector uses the same water system.

Parakoti said there are certain times during the day when water usage is used at a high demand and people need to start conserving.

Those who have tanks will find that between midnight and 4 a.m. is the ideal time to fill them.

Teotahi stressed the importance of everyone working to conserve water. He said as things get worse, supplies to residents who are noted for continuously wasting water and failing to conserve will be cut off.

"Let’s just hope that it rains and that it rains soon," said Teotahi.

Meteorological Services director Arona Ngari has some bad news though and raises the importance of beginning to conserve water.

"We might have some drizzle in the early morning but no major system that will bring a lot of rain in the near future," said Ngari.

For additional reports from the Cook Islands News Online, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Cook Islands News Online.

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