The Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) says reduced raw water levels in the Waimanu River, which is the main source of water for Tamavua and Waila Water Treatment plants will affect supply in the Lami-Suva-Nausori corridor in the Central Division.
WAF Chief Operating Officer, Seru Soderberg said that the dry weather conditions experienced in March are continuing to date, and have resulted in low raw water extraction due to falling river levels.
“For March, rainfall recorded in Suva and Nausori was well below the historical level of 440mm with total rainfall for Suva registered at 157.2mm and Nausori 140.4mm.”
“Since 14 March any rainfall received has been below the minimum daily requirement of 6mm to replenish river flows. Our Hydrology reports suggest that over the last 3 days, Waimanu River flow has dropped by 80 million litres per day,” Soderberg explained.
He said a direct result of the inflow shortage is reduced supply of treated water, causing the intermittent water supply to no water situations for customers.
“Currently, the Waimanu River is critical sitting at 0.6m impacting Waimanu and Waila raw water pump station intake capacity.”
“The WAF team is working to install a temporary coffer dam to sustain water levels in the river allowing our pumps to continue operating.”
“According to weather reports, the receding level at Waimanu, Waila, Savura Creek, Savura Cascade and Headworks 3 are expected to continue for the next seven days.”
“During the wet season, rain-producing events such as tropical cyclones, low pressures and tropical depressions bring well above-average rainfall to the Fiji group.”
“However, in 2023 so far, these events did not significantly occur for the Central Eastern division, particularly for the Waimanu catchments and Suva to Nausori area.”
“Therefore, the customers are requested to save water and use it sparingly, as the delivery of clean and safe drinking water is a priority for WAF.”
“I urge members of the public to please practice water conservation in your homes and at the workplaces, as we need to work together to manage this finite resource, particularly at this time.”
The Authority urges customers in the Lami-Suva-Nausori corridor to avoid water usage for car washing, watering of plants and gardens, irrigation of new turf, topping up of swimming pools and washing of hard surfaces, like driveways and footpaths during this dry spell.