20 June 2019
- Island-wide water restrictions to be implemented from Monday, 24 June 2019
- With the rise in consumption and lack of rainfall, reservoirs are at dangerously low levels
- We are reliant on water derived from bore holes, springs and transferring of water supplies around the Island
- This is an Island-wide issue and until the situation improves we must all restrict our water usage to essential use only
Current exceptionally dry weather conditions coupled with a rise in consumption over the last year has resulted in St Helena now experiencing a serious water shortage with below 30 days of raw water level stock available on the Island.
Reservoir levels have been decreasing each week since April when Connect Saint Helena Ltd (CSH) announced a moderate water shortage. This is because we are consuming more water than we are collecting along with the lack of consistent rainfall which is needed to recover the reservoir levels. At the moment the volume of water we have available for the whole Island is equivalent to the capacity of Hutts Gate 2 and Harpers 3 reservoirs which is approximately 30,000 cubic metres.
CSH has this week published an Island-wide legal notice restricting the use of water for essential purposes from Monday, 24 June 2019. Details can be found in this week’s newspapers. It is everyone’s responsibility to take great care in using our precious resource and consumers are urged to reduce consumption wherever possible. At the moment we are consuming around 280,000 litres more than we are collecting from our raw water stocks each day.
St Helena residents, businesses and people who use water for agricultural purposes are also urged to exercise great care and restraint when using water.
CSH’s Chief Executive Officer, Barry Hubbard, explains:
“Water resources on St Helena are becoming less and less viable so we are moving water around the Island to maintain stocks, using water from Fishers Valley and the boreholes to put water into the system.
“Even though we are drawing from all available resources there’s still not enough water to meet demand. Water restrictions will therefore be implemented from Monday but please do not wait until then to limit your consumption, we need to reduce our use now.”
There are other sources of water – tanks, boreholes & springs – but the reservoirs are the most significant and visible, with levels easy to measure. They are also less vulnerable to daily fluctuation.
Regular updates on reservoir levels will be issued to the public.
CSH has been closely monitoring the situation, followed all protocols, and gathered and transferred water where possible – the bottom line is that we can’t control the weather.
CSH will continue to do all it can to sustain available resources and gather and transfer water where possible.
This situation is being taken very seriously by the St Helena Resilience Forum, who will keep the public informed through frequent media updates, together with advice on how to limit your consumption.
If you see anyone using water irresponsibly or notice a burst pipe or leak then please inform CSH immediately.
Every drop counts, every action counts – Everyone must save every drop of water possible.
#StHelena #WaterShortage #EveryDropCounts
St Helena Resilience Forum
20 June 2019