A new treatment plant for Kongulai is being designed, which should help curb continuous cuts to water supply due to turbidity during rainy seasons.

Solomon Water Board Chairman, Carson Korowa, said that the facility will not be ready until late 2020.

Chairman Korowa also revealed that the cost to operate the new plant will be upwards of SBD$120m a year – the real cost of maintaining water supply in the capital city.

“We’ve come a long way since near insolvency in 2012 when we used to supply water for 5 hours per day. With the improvements that we are undertaking our supply duration is 22 hours and we strive to provide 24 hours in the near future. We are with you in improving the water system for all,” Mr Korowa said.

“Other initiatives Solomon Water is taking is reactivating some of our tension damaged bores in White River and also disused boreholes in Panatina and Kombito.

“Much of the water pipe network is very old and constructed pre-independence, it has many leaks and we have a programme to replace many pipes in coming years – this is very expensive and reflects years of under investment in this key infrastructure by previous governments.”

Mr Korowa also revealed that Solomon Water is looking into a Carbon trading type scheme whereby landowners in key catchment areas are compensated to not log and preserve the forest. He says this could include replanting the logged areas to try and stop the earth being washed away by rain.