THE Water Authority of Fiji loses around 60 per cent of water a year through leaks, illegal connections and commercial losses, newly appointed chief executive officer Opetaia Ravai said.
And while the authority expects the government to continue to heavily subsidise its operations, the company expects investment in technology to reduce the financial loss through facilities that offer better detection.
Subsidy was necessary partly because the authority had to provide uneconomical services which were ultimately vital to customers, Mr Ravai whose acting appointment was confirmed this week, said.
A pressure management system will enable equal pressure for all customers in a bid to detect leaks, he explained. Mr Ravai, who held the acting CEO's designation when the authority was in its second year of operation in 2010, said the authority lost an estimated $4 million a year to leaks in the piping system for Delainavesi alone.
With an annual budget allocation of around $100 million, the authority can only work on three to four capital projects next year which will include:
* securing two water sources for Nadi in the face of growing development at Denarau and Fantasy Island to name a few ventures;
* an additional water source for the growing population within the Nausori-Suva corridor; and
* Savusavu treatment plant where a boom is expected in the tourism and property development sectors.
Mr Ravai said the authority would split its annual budget allocation on a 50/50 or 60/40 ratio catering first for operational costs before using the balance on capital projects.