Executive Council approves Exploratory Borehole Drilling Project

Drilling Rig (owned by Connect Saint Helena Ltd) after some repair works

At their meeting on Tuesday, 11 August 2020, Executive Council gave their approval for the Exploratory Borehole Drilling Project to be funded from the Economic Development Investment Programme (EDIP). This project will help to address the existing shortfall in the Island’s water supply.

With three droughts in the past decade (2013, 2016 and 2019), water supply remains one of the highest priority infrastructure needs to be addressed on St Helena. The shortfall is mainly on the western side of the Island, affecting consumers feeding from the Red Hill distribution system, which during drought periods has resulted in water having to be transferred to this area from other parts of the Island, incurring significant costs in the process.

Four options were looked at to address the current water security problem and to provide a sustainable and cost effective solution. Through investigative and field studies the preferred option is to explore deep aquifers and develop successful boreholes, near the Red Hill distribution system. If the boreholes yield positive results, additional funding would be required to develop the boreholes. Connect Saint Helena Ltd will be contributing 50% towards the exploratory cost.

Council noted the importance of the Project in providing water security on the Island. Updates will be provided as the Project progresses.

In the meantime SHG has just completed a public consultation exercise on a draft Water Resource Strategy based on the principles of:

  1. Increasing sustainable access to safe drinking water
  2. Increasing availability of water to sustain and develop agricultural production
  3. Providing continuity of water supplies required for economic activity (e.g. food processing, construction, tourism, etc.)
  4. Improving behaviours associated with the efficient use of water and
  5. Encouraging the sound management and protection of freshwater resources.

This Strategy will now be updated to take account of the feedback obtained through the consultation.

#StHelena #ExCo #EDIP #WaterSecurity

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SHG
13 August 2020

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470
Email: kimberley.peters@sainthelena.gov.sh