High demand affects supply

Substantial growth in population is leading to the increase in water disruptions, says Water Authority of Fiji CEO Barry Omundson.

“In addition to what we have already implemented over the last year or so, we have plans for more capacity and resilience building upgrades to our infrastructure and contingencies for when disruptions occur and population density and climate change are major issues that we are accounting for,” he said in a statement.

“Increase in disruptions is due to the markedly greater demands on the current system due to the substantial growth in population from urban drift.

“The water system was originally designed with particular population size and growth in mind but the number of people coming to the city in search of employment has exceeded these initial estimates.

As a result, the system has to be very finely balanced to ensure consistent supply to all Fijians and issues like power outages, where we do not have generators or the correct sized generators have a big effect on water levels in our reservoirs.”

Mr Omundson said wastage of clean water was also of great concern.

“We see examples of wastage every single day, like people’s taps freely running from the roadside, and what we cannot see is surely worse.

We need people to understand how truly harmful their actions are and to not waste water.”

The statement further stated illegal connections and leaks were causing more disruptions because of unaccounted water usage.

“This places undue pressure on our systems to deliver water to our customers.

We are doing our best to mitigate this and the authority is working very hard to reduce this unaccounted for water and have deployed teams to undertake regular inspections of assets to ensure they are operating as they should.”