RESIDENTS URGED TO LIMIT WATER CONSUMPTION

harpers-2-also-known-as-the-earth-dam-photo-by-samsThe St Helena Resilience Forum urgently advises the public to reduce their water consumption. The Forum is responsible for monitoring and managing risks that can affect the safety of the community as a whole, it comprises senior officers from the Emergency Services, SHG, CONNECT and SURE.

As exceptionally dry weather continues – with no significant rainfall forecast over the coming weeks – domestic water levels on St Helena have reached dangerously low levels with Island reservoirs gradually emptying.

St Helena residents, businesses and people who use water for agricultural purposes are therefore urged to exercise great care and restraint when using water.

CEO of Connect Saint Helena Ltd, Barry Hubbard, explains:

“The water levels on St Helena are dangerously low and if we don’t have any substantial rainfall soon, we will reach a very serious situation.

“We have experienced droughts in the past but these have been cases where there has been water on the Island, but in the wrong place. This year we have no other available water on St Helena.

“Connect has closely monitored the situation, followed all protocols and gathered and transferred water where possible. But the bottom line is that we can’t control the weather. The fact is this year we are experiencing very low levels of rainfall and there is a good chance this dry weather will continue.”

Rainfall data since 2001 – collected from the Met Office site in Bottom Woods – highlights a serious and significant drop in our monthly rain:

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 The figures show that rainfall this year has been significantly lower than even during the drought in 2013.

With approximately only 15mm of rainfall received so far this October it is likely that the problem will continue in the short to medium term.

As the festive season approaches and more people arrive on-Island, there will be even higher demand for water – but we must reduce our consumption. St Helena residents are reminded that this is an Island-wide shortage and it is everyone’s responsibility to manage the situation and to take great care in using this precious resource.

The Resilience Forum added:

“If consumption continues at the current level, or increases, Connect will have no option but to place further restrictions on people’s use of water. This could result in consumers only being allowed a certain volume of water each day.

“Connect does not want to do this but it is becoming a serious possibility if we do not limit our usage now to essential needs only. On a household level, just monitoring how much water you’re using each day and making sure you cut this down, will help. An Island-wide shortage affects everyone and we must all do our part.”

Connect is doing all it can to sustain available resources and gather and transfer water where possible. But this will not solve the main problem, which is lack of rain.

This situation is being taken very seriously by the St Helena Resilience Forum, which will keep the public informed through frequent radio rainfall and consumption data, together with advice on how to limit your consumption.

St Helena Resilience Forum

25 October 2016

 

 

 

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