Water Problems Now and Then

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For much of this week and perhaps in the last month or two there have been complaints on social media about water (or rather, lack of it). Much of the problems we deal with today is not only irresponsible use but the rise in illegal connections. Interestingly, about 3 or 4 decades ago illegal connections would have been unheard of. The local media ran news articles about a water problem in the city and it was all to do with wastage – yep, there was so much of it.

The city council was concerned that Port Moresby residents and nearby villagers were wasting about 40% of the city’s water supply through – wait for it – bad plumbing and indiscriminate use!

Then City Council Engineer, Mr Stephen Hill, said at the time that “The amount of wastage is very, very high.

One of the problems he identified earlier was the wastage coming from mainly “western type houses“.

Leaking taps and broken cisterns were considered to be the main causes of the wastage.

Even more interesting to note of the city’s water problems then were that most of the problems in high covenant houses were much to blame for their “careless” use given most of them did not worry about it “as they had plenty of it“.

Another type of wastage Mr Hill identified at the time were the communal taps in the villages. He said “Often taps are left running for 24 hours a day“.

Bob Brown of Grass Roots fame, comically put the issue then in the Post Courier as shown on the pic above.

B Brown in Post Courier

Turn the clock forward and you’d be wondering what the hell went wrong.

Our water problems today are plentiful of which users are much to blame for it.

  • Illegal connections
  • Plumbing
  • Unpredictable water supply
  • No communal taps
  • Leaking taps
  • Low pressure
  • Unpaid water bills



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