Public urged to help minimise impact of water shortage


26-July-2004

Speaking to the press on Friday, Joseph Rath, the director of Environmental Impact Assessment, said the problem of water shortage was not unique to Seychelles, but a global concern, which was being influenced by natural phenomenon and weather extremes caused by the greenhouse effects and population growth.

"Because of our vulnerabilities as small island states, climate changes are having a strong impact on us, and water shortage is one problem that regardless of our efforts will not go away," Mr Rath said.

"More desalination plants, dams, reservoirs cannot instantly solve our water problems, because as demand from our population increases, we are noting a gradual decrease in rainfall, which will mean less water to store and distribute," he explained.

"It is up to each and every one of us to take the necessary steps to invest in available technologies to conserve water and help minimise the long-term impact on our households so that we can at least ensure sustainable water supply," he added.

Mr Rath also urged public to avoid using treated water to wash cars or to water their gardens. These, he said, can be done using rain water which they can store in facilities at home.

The ministry, he said, was already taking appropriate measures to minimise development in the mountains and logging of trees which could have negative impact on the water catchment, the main source of the waters flowing in the dams.

Mr Wills Agricole, an officer from the Met Office, has warned that the impact of an increase in the carbon dioxide gas being emitted in the atmosphere is helping to change rain patterns globally and is causing our climate to change.

"Last year we had a wet weather during the dry season, but in 1998, 2000 and 2001 it was too dry," he explained, adding that the climate change is giving us weather extremes with unpredictable patterns.

Mr Agricole said the current dry weather will go on until September and according to the prevision at the Met Office only between 25% and 50% rainfall is expected during this period, compared to last year.

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