26 Sep 2013

Cook Islands water contractor says checks and balances needed

7:21 am on 26 September 2013

The contractor for the Cook Islands water projects says more checks and balances are needed to ensure the long-term sustainability of the water supply on Rarotonga.

The Project Manager of Landholdings, Ben Parakoti, who has been tasked with implementing water projects for 15 years, says the practice of connecting water tanks to the mains system is unsustainable.

The Minister of Infrastructure, Teariki Heather, disagrees and says Mr Parakoti has never mentioned the issue in the past.

But Mr Parakoti says there is a limited supply from the creek, and tanks should be used for rainwater only.

He says the constant and unnecessary drawing of water from the source may cause irreparable damage.

"If you're drawing continuously from a stream, there's going to be an effect, like if you're pumping from groundwater. If you're pumping too much, the drawdown is too much, you hit the saline water and then you can't pump anymore. You could end up with extended periods of drought."

The Project Manager of Landholdings, Ben Parakoti.