By: L.N. Reklai
June 5, 2017 (Koror, Palau) In preparation for forecasted El Nino conditions in the second half of this calendar year, Palau’s National Emergency Committee approved Drought Action Plan or water shortage contingency strategy.
The plan outlines specific actions and steps for the national government to prepare for and respond to when water shortages occur in order to guarantee critical public services and minimize impact of water shortage on public health, safety and economic activity.
Three stages of water shortages are set and actions to take when these are triggered. The stages include “Voluntary” or when water supply is between 85% to 100% and “Mandatory” or when water supply is at 65% to 85%. “Mandatory” stage triggers public warnings and aims to reduce water consumption by 15-35%. Last stage is “Crisis” when water supply has dropped to 50 to 65% and this triggers emergency action by customers. This aims to reduce water consumption from 35% to 50%.
Each of these stages mandates certain actions by the government and its key agencies to minimize impact of water shortage on public.
Weather forecast have issued potential drought for Palau for second half of this year and the national government and Palau Public Utilities Corporation are preparing in anticipation of such event.
“We’ve learned our lessons the hard way from the drought last year and we do not want to go through that again. We are preparing for a drought regardless,” state PPUC CEO Kione Isechal. [/restrict]