Solomon Water estimated to lose about $10 million dollars annually

Upstream, Kongulai water source|Photo: Solomon Water

Solomon Water has introduced a Non-Revenue Water program to address leakages and illegal water connection issues.

The State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) lost an estimated SBD$10- million dollars every year due to illegal connections and leakages. 

The program will ensure illegal connections are reported, water leakages are fixed and that water is used wisely.

Solomon Water Chief Executive Officer Ian Gooden told SIBC News in an exclusive interview that about fifty-five percent of the water is lost due to these issues.

“From the fifty-five percent of water lost, about 20 percent of the water is lost through illegal water connections for example if we produce a hundred liters of water, we only sell about forty or forty-five liters of the water all the rest is lost.”

Meanwhile Mr. Gooden added, forty percent of Honiara residents will continue to experience water outages due to logging impacts around the Kongulai source and Kohovi catchment area.   

He said acording to a study conducted by Solomon Water in collaboration with the University of Queensland, shows during heavy rainfall around the area results in water outage. 

“Despite clear weather in the capital but if it rains around the Kohovi area it will result in us getting dirty water, the study we’ve conducted show that it takes eight to ten hours for dirty water in the Kohovi catchment area to reach the Kongulai water source.”

Mr. Gooden told Honiara residents, it will takes several days for the turbidity to settle down.

“Kongulai source supports forty per cent of the population, so when we shut down that’s about fifty to sixty thousand people being affected”.

Logging activities around the area were ordered to halt in 2019 by the Ministry of Environment after a formal complaint was lodged by Solomon water to the responsible Ministries and the Police. 

Mr. Gooden said it’ll will takes many years for the catchment area to recover. 

“We’ve got to wait for all grass to grow to stop erosion and because they’ve logged in some very steep slopes and above the four-hundred-meter level those areas take a longer period to recover,” he said. 

Work on regrowing the vegetation is well underway.

by Sharon Nanau

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