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Mauritius could run out of water in 2030, report says

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On Monday, Defi Media reported that a drop in the water level has been observed in the water tables, leading CWA Managing Director Rooben Maran to call for a careful use of water.

The newspaper added that some areas of the island are suffering from “lack of water pressure”.

The changing landscapes and rising demand means the need for water is as high as ever, but the looming water scarcity problem is ringing alarm bells for a difficult future ahead, several experts have warned.

The latest warning came from the Government itself. 

A report by the Ministry of the Environment, entitled “Intended Nationally Determined Contribution for the Republic of Mauritius”, has conceded that Mauritius could, by 2030, become a region where water is scarce.

The news has come as a shock.

The report revealed that there has been a 7.7% drop in rainfall in Mauritius between 2011 and 2020.

The country has already started experiencing important dry periods, which have triggered important water restrictions.

This summer could be among the hottest we’ve experienced so far – and critically low levels of rain should be expected.

But we also have to think about wide climate change issues … If it does not rain in the upper lands, you cannot get water from there either,” experts warn. Some 13% of the island’s catchment areas are reported to have been destroyed over the recent years for development projects.

Consequently, desalination is said to be back on the Central Water Authority’s agenda.

Desalination is happening in Rodrigues and in a handful of hotels in Mauritius.

How about a national desalination project? Even if several such proposals have been made to the Government for several years, they never came to fruition.

Local authorities say they are preparing against water shortages by rehabilitating existing reservoirs like La Nicolière, building a new dam at Rivière-des-Anguilles – which is expected to be operational by 2024.

Water would not be a problem if it was used properly and the distribution network was efficient. Over 50% potable water is lost through leaking, ageing pipes.

In 2021, some Rs 1.9 billion have been allocated for the replacement of 100 kilometers of water pipes.

For those in the know, rapid response to the worsening water crisis has become critical.

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