12 August 2021
Executive Council has approved the Exploratory Drilling Programme – to be funded from St Helena Government’s (SHG) Project Special Fund, and managed by the Capital Programme Section in this financial year (2021/22).
The public will be aware of the recent exploratory drilling programme which was terminated earlier this year. Connect Saint Helena Ltd.’s (CSH) ageing drilling rig was unable to reach the 80 metre depth required due to the drilling rig’s fragile systems only being able to reliably reach a depth of approximately 40 metres.
It has therefore been agreed that an international company will undertake the drilling works at the Francis Plain Ring Road as well as other locations around the Island, to source additional water supply. The consultancy services for this operation is being provided by the Capital Programme Section.
The relatively small cost associated with the deep aquifer exploratory borehole drilling, and the timeframes which the outputs can be achieved within, offers a low cost quick solution for SHG to eliminate the current water deficit experienced during periods of drought.
The public will be kept updated on progress.
Notes to Editor:
St Helena’s Water Strategy was endorsed in 2020. Water needs to be of good quality and quantity which is affordable for all. The overall aims of the Strategy are to:
- Ensure that sufficient quality and quantity of water is available to support healthy living
- Ensure that sufficient quality and quantity of water is available to sustain economic activity
- Ensure that sufficient quality and quantity of water is available to sustain food security
- Ensure that sufficient quality and quantity of water is available to sustain environmental and ecosystem functions.
During drought conditions there is generally sufficient water in the east of the Island, but the main problem has been a water deficiency in the west of the Island, and specifically to supply adequate water to and from the Red Hill treatment plant serving St Pauls and Half Tree Hollow, where the majority of the population resides. During recent droughts, the deficiency in water supply to and from the Red Hill treatment plant has been approximately 500 cubic metres per day.
Therefore, to mitigate the effects of St Helena’s dry periods, we need a cost effective way of finding an additional 500 cubic metres of water per day in the Red Hill catchment area, which will need to be implemented relatively quickly to mitigate against adverse impacts to the:
- Unsustainable and expensive pumping and bowsering costs (thus increasing subsidy to CSH to offset such costs)
- Increased imports of bottled water (increasing problems with disposal and reducing the lifespan of the landfill if not recycled).
#StHelena #AltogetherGreener # ExploratoryDrilling
12 August 2021