Water is a source of life, and is garnering accrued importance around the world as it is becoming a rare commodity. In Mauritius, some 150 million cubic metres are extracted from boreholes, amounting to 48% of water utilised in the country.
The Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Mr Georges Pierre Lesjongard, was speaking this afternoon, in Port-Louis, during a press statement made on the occasion of World Water Day 2022.
Mr Lesjongard thus stressed on the critical importance of boreholes for water supply and informed that since 1960 water is being extracted from boreholes. Currently, he said, there are some 600 which are operational.
As regards World Water Day, he recalled that the event is an annual United Nations observance day held on each 22 March. He indicated that the theme for World Water Day 2022 is ‘Groundwater, making the invisible visible’ and emphasised that it is our duty to celebrate the event in Mauritius.
Moreover, Minister Lesjongard pointed out that while reservoirs are replenished during rainfalls, water utilisation is increasing due to demand by sectors involved in the development process.
The Minister also spoke of water-stress that affect water availability during dry seasons, as boreholes run dry.
However, other boreholes can be exploited and all those showing interest in this endeavour should follow the required procedures, he added. This, he said, will contribute to attain the quota of water availability.
Besides, Minister Lesjongard highlighted that apart from boreholes, other sources of water supply include reservoirs and rivers and that water is drilled, treated and injected in our water distribution system through pressure filters.
He added that there is a need to consider innovative technologies to increase our water production capacity.
As regards water-scarce regions, the Minister said that water distribution is erratic in some regions and announced that Government has implemented projects to ensure better water distribution.
He also spoke about the issues related to the gravity-flow water distribution system, and assured that an alternative distribution system is being catered for. In this respect, to resolve the water distribution issues at Bambous Virieux, the Central Water Authority (CWA) has installed three reservoirs equipped with water pumps and the same system will be replicated in Grand-Gaube, informed Mr Lesjongard.
The Minister also underlined that the CWA which is responsible for water distribution in the country, necessitates a restructuring and affirmed that this process has already kickstarted.