RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY

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Solomon Water Chief Executive Officer, Ian Gooden doing a presentation on the current Water issue at Iron Bottom Sound.

-No immediate solution to address Honiara’s water cuts

-Solomon Water offers mid & long term plans

By EDDIE OSIFELO

Solomon Water Chief Executive Officer, Ian Gooden doing a presentation on the current Water issue at Iron Bottom Sound.

HONIARA’S unbearable water cuts will continue as long as there is rainfall; how long for? No one knows exactly.

The stakeholders briefing on the Kongulai water supply in Honiara yesterday has not come up with an immediate solution to address the ongoing water cuts.

However, there are mid-term and long term plans by Solomon Water to address the ongoing water-cut issue.

Solomon Water (SW) had organised the briefing due to public outcry on social media and print media from Honiara residents, who did not receive water in the past days due to bad weather.

Solomon Water Chief Executive Officer, Ian Gooden from New Zealand, said the water shutdown is due to turbidity which will continue as long as there is rain, especially around the catchment area of the Kongulai water source.

Gooden said the water shut down intensified when licence was given to a logging company in 2018 and continued until today.

He said they are currently using all sources and have to rely on bore-holes only following heavy rain.

“There are no alternatives until a treatment plant is operational,” he added.

Gooden said what Solomon Water is doing to improve this situation are:

  • Re-commissioning two bores at White River in October 2019
  • Temporary treatment plant for Kongulai to treat some of the water during shutdowns – Commission March 2020
  • Treatment plant under design to treat entire Kongulai water – commissioning May 2021
  • Increasing water production at other locations
  • Increasing storage volume – May 2021
  • Increasing water loss
  • More work teams recruited
  • Targeting leaks and theft
  • Encouraging Ministries to manage loggers and rehabilitate damage caused
  • Increasing information to public
  • Requested Solomon Islands Government to form working group to manage the land management/catchment issues
  • Asked SIG/donors for financial help

Gooden said long term actions could include:

  • Investigating carbon credit scheme – landowner compensation to preserve forest
  • Work with landowners to replant trees
  • Working with landowners to preserve the catchments
  • Water catchment area declaration – Kohove
  • Possible acquisition of the catchment areas

The Kongulai water dam supplies 40 percent of Honiara residents, covering West Honiara and extending to some parts of central Honiara.