Water shut-down threat remains despite days of rain

by St Helena Government writer

Click the pic to see full drought coverage

Click the pic to see full drought coverage

Rain showers over the past two days have not lessened the possibility of a partial domestic water shutdown on St Helena, as stored water levels remain exceptionally low.

Water consumption from the Redhill treatment plant increased yesterday to 350 cubic metres, up roughly by 100 cubic metres compared to the weekend.

This is disappointing given the seriousness of the water situation, and residents are urged to continue to use as little water as possible. It is vital that all of us continue our efforts to conserve this precious resource.

This raised consumption, balanced against rain showers and water trucked and bowsered to the Redhill plant, means that we still only have eight days’ of supply remaining. 

The long term weather forecast from Ascension Island indicates only light, intermittent rainfall over the next couple of months, which is not sufficient to reverse the current problem.  

So the Contingency Planning Group (CPG) will continue to mobilise physical resources this week in anticipation of a possible shutdown or reduction of domestic water in Half Tree Hollow, Cowpath, Ladder Hill, Red Hill, Sapper Way, New Ground, Clay Gut, Pounceys, Kunjie Field, Scotland, Plantation, Cleughs Plain, Rosemary Plain, Francis Plain, Crack Plain and Guinea Grass.

Yesterday (Tuesday 4 June 2013) saw 70 cubic metres of raw water transported from Jamestown to Redhill by the transport and fire teams, plus 190 cubic metres of water bowsered by Basil Read [the airport contractor] to the plant – bolstering our stored water at Redhill.

This work will continue over the coming days, and we will continue to refine our use of additional water resources.

Our thanks go to the roads, transport, fire, and Basil Read teams – and we ask the public for their continued co-operation with the truck and bowser traffic.

The contingency plan would see public water tanks at key locations in the affected areas, plus other public sources (for example, in Jamestown) to ensure that the public could access the water they need.  A Control Centre, which will be manned during the day, evenings and weekends, is now in place and ready, should shutdown go ahead.  Any reports of water wastage will be investigated by the police.

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