Ensuring water keeps flowing

Backup generators to power water pumps during power outages were donated to Majuro Water and Sewer Company earlier this week at the airport reservoir by Japan and the United Nations Development Program. Photo: Eve Burns.
Backup generators to power water pumps during power outages were donated to Majuro Water and Sewer Company earlier this week at the airport reservoir by Japan and the United Nations Development Program. Photo: Eve Burns.

Back up generators to power fresh and salt water service in Majuro are soon to be installed so that service can continue despite ongoing power outages, the general manager of the water company says.

Majuro Water and Sewer Company GM Damian Capelle got out in front of the problem last year by ordering back up generators and additional water delivery trucks.

“I am happy to say that with the help of UNDP with funding from Japan, we were able to order back up generators for our water and sewer pump stations from Rita to Laura,” Capelle said last week. “These units were ordered last year and are on island. We are in the stage of working with contractors to construct facilities to house these generators starting with our water treatment plant at airport and Laura, and work our way to our salt water and lift stations.”

Capelle’s expectation is that it will take a couple of months to install the new backup generators for both fresh water and salt water pumps. “This will definitely help MEC with the power situation once operational,” he said.

The grant also supported purchase of two new water delivery trucks, which are expected to arrive the end of next month.

MWSC has reduced water hours slightly in line with the lack of rainfall since the end of December. The National Weather Service Office in Majuro had recorded less than one inch of rain for the first 29 days of January. This shows the heightened dryness of January brought on by the current El Niño. Although January to April is historically the dry season in RMI, normally Majuro sees 8.24 inches of rain in Januaries.

“Right now we are pumping water from Laura lens to offset any water use from the airport to Rita,” said Capelle. “So for the time being, we will stick with twice a week water distribution from the airport to Rita but reduced water hours, from three hours to two hours. Laura to airport customers schedule and hours won’t be affected.”

But, Capelle added, it’s “time for people on Majuro to conserve.

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