Small Islands Voice (SIV) Discussion Forum: Water Supply and Conservation

“Water cuts normal for consumers in Fiji” provided the starting point on 5 April 2005 for a discussion thread in the SIV discussion forum (some 40,000 individuals connected).

The lead item was based on an article in the Fiji Times, and elicited many comments and suggestions from other islanders. A first digest of responses on “Collect rainwater while you can”, posted on 19 April, related responses from Fiji, Hawaii and Mauritius. A second posting on 3 May on “Islanders should never become complacent about water” featured observations from Cayman Bec, Fiji, a barrier island in Florida, Rodriguez and Seychelles. Respondents from Bahamas, Cyprus, Mauritius and Niue contributed to a third round of comments on “Safeguarding water resources” (17 May). A fourth posting on 31 May included comments and observations from Cuba, Fiji, Mauritius and San Andrès on approaches to saving precious water, from planting trees to seeding clouds, from the role of a water conservation media campaign to the opportunities offered by a new virtual learning centre for sharing experience and information on water supply and its conservation.

A final posting (15 June) concluded that rainwater harvesting – individual households and villages collecting rainwater in buckets, tanks and underground cisterns – had been the option most favoured by those who wrote into this forum in response to the launching newspaper article on Fiji’s water problems. Desalination and utilizing underground water supplies were other options discussed. The need to conserve water, regardless of the source, was a theme running through many of the responses. While insufficient space precluded the posting of all contributions, the moderators have compiled all the responses and organized them by subject for future reference (

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