St Helena : COUNTDOWN TO WATER SHUTDOWN CONTINUES
Submitted by Saint Helena Herald (Public Relations Information Office) 08.06.2013 (Article Archived on 22.06.2013)
The countdown to a partial water shutdown on St Helena continues as stored water levels remain exceptionally low. Consumption from the Red Hill Treatment Plant has reduced slightly (at 232 cubic metres today, compared with an average of roughly 400 cubic metres) and this is positive - we thank the public for stretching this precious resource. But stored levels still only give us about 6 days’ supply.
TO WATER SHUTDOWN CONTINUES
SITUATION IN AFFECTED AREAS CRITICAL
Urged to Conserve Water
The countdown to a partial water
shutdown on St Helena continues as stored water levels remain exceptionally
low. Consumption from the Red Hill Treatment Plant has reduced slightly (at 232
cubic metres today, compared with an average of roughly 400 cubic metres) and
this is positive - we thank the public for stretching this precious resource.
But stored levels still only give us about 6 days’ supply.
Rainfall over the past few days
has not raised levels of stored water in any of the Harpers reservoirs.
This weekend, we urge residents
served by the Red Hill Treatment Plant to do all they can to use less water. A
leaflet - Your Top Ten Tips to Saving Water – is now available in local
shops (see below).
The new long term weather forecast
indicates only light, intermittent rainfall over the next couple of months,
which is not good news. So the Contingency Planning Group (CPG) is mobilising
resources in anticipation of a possible shutdown of domestic water in: Half
Tree Hollow, Cowpath, Ladder Hill, Red Hill, Sapper Way, New Ground, Clay Gut,
Pounceys, Kunjie Field, Scotland, Plantation, Cleughs Plain, Rosemary Plain,
Francis Plain, Crack Plain and Guinea Grass.
This would see public water tanks
at key locations in the affected areas, plus other public sources (for example,
in Jamestown) to ensure that the public can access the water they need.
Specific sites for public water
tanks are being identified and tanks deployed (an ongoing process). CPG has
been discussing this and other matters with third parties, including merchants,
retailers, Faith groups and Basil Read. Residents will no doubt be thinking of
family and friends who might be vulnerable and may need help.
A Control Centre, which will be
manned during the day, evenings and weekends, is now in place ready, should
shutdown go ahead.
Finally, any reports of water
wastage will be investigated by the Police.
The public will wish to note that
since November last year, St Helena has received only about a third of the
rainfall it would normally expect – not at all like the seasonal norm.
The Island-wide hosepipe and
sprinkler ban (imposed on Friday 24 May 2013) remains in place until further
notice. All St Helena residents are reminded that they can now use water for
domestic purposes only.
Customs Duty Exemption on Bottled
Water and Water Containers:
Following public representations,
a proposal was put to the Collector of Customs and to ExCo, that all bottled
water and water containers be made exempt from Customs Duty. The Acting
Governor in Council agreed that from 30 May 2013, no Customs Duty would be
payable on such imports from that date.
It is strongly hoped that this
reduction in Duty will result in a comparable reduction in the price of water
sold by retailers, once the ship returns from Cape Town. We wish to see the
full 20% reduction passed on to customers. The price of water will be closely
monitored by SHG. This exemption is for a temporary period, until drought
concerns are lifted, and will be assessed by Customs on a ship by ship basis.
The CPG today also thanked the RMS
for donating 4 pallets of bottled water as a further contingency measure
St Helena residents - particularly
those in the problem areas - are urged to exercise real care and consideration
when using water. A leaflet - Your Top Ten Tips to Saving Water - is now
Public Library, Jamestown,
Customer Service Centre, Jamestown, Health and Social Welfare Directorate,
Upper Jamestown, and Consulate Hotel.