The Water Authority of Fiji has launched a nationwide campaign to increase awareness on the importance of water conservation to members of the public during the prolonged dry spell period at its National Office in Nasinu during a joint media conference with the Fiji Meteorological Service.

WAF Board Director, Kamal Gounder said the two-month campaign will feature tips on saving water.

“Every customer should be aware of the impact of the prolonged dry spell and the need for everyone to conserve water during this low to no rainfall period. To minimize wastage, we need to do our bit to encourage others who are wasting water to stop, so at the end of the day, we can prolong the water resources up in the hills or the water storage in the reservoirs and tanks,” said Gounder.

Gounder said the campaign is prompted with a focus on encouraging members of the public to ‘simply save water and not to be extravagant, with the dry spell facing the country, it’s important that we act now’.

“While there has been some relief as rain has fallen in parts of the Central Division, it must be advised that there is a dry weather spell that is expected to last till end of October. When that happens, people will need assistance with water as it may become scarce,” said Gounder.

“The tips on conserving water will be ongoing, reminding household members of actions they can take to reduce wastage. Because water is so inexpensive at 15cents for 1000 litres, many people have come to believe that this is an inexhaustible supply but we want to advise that it is not especially in times of like this. And during times like this, the Authority needs to cart water to rural areas, and this does not come cheap,” explained Gounder.

Gounder said that the “delivery of clean and safe drinking water is a priority for WAF. All we need to do is just look around us to know that the change in climatic conditions and prolonged dry spells is a result of climate change.” I urge members of the public to please practice water conservation by ways of minimizing on the washing of cars, driveways as well as watering of gardens. We need to conserve water as every drop is precious,” said Gounder.

WAF General Manager Customer Services, Sekove Uluinayau said that “every household should store up at least two days water supply for any emergency use. This back-up supply would sustain affected households until assistance arrives. WAF has implemented the rural water carting weekly schedule and kindly requests affected rural communities and households to abide by it, so all affected rural communities and households can be covered and provided the same assistance, equally,” said Uluinayau.

“We must all do our part in saving water and also join the fight against climate change by choosing greener and carbon-free choices. We, at WAF have plans in place, looking at options like solar-powered treatment plants and pumping stations; however, this will take time to implement,” explained  Uluinayau.

Uluinayau encouraged Fijians to do their part and use water sparingly as every drop is precious and also encouraged Fijians to practice the save-water tips that will feature in the newspapers, radio, theatres and television in the coming days.

“The timing of this campaign is important and making our people aware of the challenges is extremely important. We need to save water. There are times when the rains do not provide enough water to satisfy our needs. We have to continually build up our water supplies to make sure that when there is too little rain, we still have enough,” he said.

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