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By Terry Tavita

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Sept. 24) – Concerns over water supplies are mounting as Samoa experiences another prolonged dry spell.

Samoa Water Authority's acting general manager, Leafi John Galuvao, said the agency is struggling to maintain supplies to some parts of the greater Apia area.

The authority has started rationing supply to these areas. Water trucks are also being used to cart water to families there.

Hard hit are the villages of To'omatagi, Magiagi and Fagali'i, which have only one water main, he said.

The authority has introduced a plan where To'omatagi and Magiagi will have water by day and then Fagali'i at night.

Vaivase Uta, which shares a water linkage with the Electric Power Corporation station at Magiagi, will receive water from 6am to 6pm. After that water will be channeled to the EPC station, he said.

Rationing, he said, not only conserves water supplies but also allows time for the reservoirs to be replenished.

The Alaoa and Fuluasou reservoirs, which service Apia and west Upolu, are at average water levels, said Leafi.

The Meteorological observatory at Mulinuu says that there might not be any reprieve soon.

Climatologist Dean Solofa said indications point to a weak El Nino phenomenon disrupting water patterns at the end of the year.

"Normally the rains are expected to arrive at the start of the wet season in November," he said. "But a weak El Nino means a drier than normal rainy season, meaning there might not be as much rain as expected."

Mr Solofa said that it has been a pretty dry year despite some months having high rainfall.

September 28, 2004

Samoa Observer: www.samoaobserver.ws/


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