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Surveys bring new hope for drought stricken communities

July 18, 2017 5:48 pm

People living in two drought-prone sugarcane areas in Viti Levu, are a step closer to accessing more reliable water supplies.

The Hydrogeological survey, conducted by a Water Resources team from the Pacific Community’s Geoscience Division have mapped new sources of underground water in Qerelevu, Ba and Nanuku-Wailevu, Ra.

The initiative, was carried out near a number of communities who are yet to be connected to the Water Authority network and have a history of water shortages.

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SPC’s Water Resources Adviser, Peter Sinclair, says the surveys – which used sophisticated geophysical electrical resistivity equipment – have detected places where there are likely to be sources of fresh underground water that can be potentially tapped.

Sinclair says the areas surveyed currently rely on a combination of collected rainwater, springs or shallow wells.

He says groundwater from deeper sources has the distinct advantage that it is less impacted by droughts and cyclones.

Identifying the sources of new water supplies is just the first step.

Pumping tests from the drilled bores will also be carried out.

This will assess the volume and quality of water to ensure that the groundwater resource can be developed in a sustainable way and meet local needs.

Further surveys are planned for four selected communities in Ba, Tavua and Rakiraki later this year.

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