Solomon Water has successful completed the first of the SOE’s provincial stakeholder forum’s in Noro, Western Province on Friday 16 February 2024. Led by CEO Carmine Piantedosi, the forum was attended by over twenty representatives from Noro-based customers, businesses and schools.

The forums are organized to engage with stakeholders and provide insights into Solomon Water's business goals, challenges, and commitment to serve the communities it operates in.

During the stakeholder forums, CEO Carmine Piantedosi addressed various crucial topics to enhance transparency and foster collaboration. The discussions covered:

  1. Legislative Framework: An overview of the legislative framework that guides Solomon Water's operations and services.
  2. Solomon Water Vision, Mission, and Values (with IMPACT): A presentation on the organization's vision, mission, and values, aligning them with current Solomon Islands Government policies and Sustainable Development Goals.
  3. Customer Centric Organization: Emphasis on Solomon Water's dedication to becoming a more customer-centric organization, with a focus on improving service delivery and addressing customer needs.
  4. SIWA Capital Works and Major Projects: Updates on ongoing and upcoming capital works and major projects undertaken by Solomon Water to enhance water infrastructure, improve service reliability, and meet the growing demands of the communities served.
  5. Challenges Solomon Water is facing: An open dialogue about the challenges faced by Solomon Water, acknowledging the importance of feedback from stakeholders to enhance the SOE’s effectiveness.
  6. How the Organization is Facing Challenges: CEO Piantedosi shared strategies and initiatives undertaken by Solomon Water to address challenges, ensuring continuous improvement and commitment to delivering quality water services.

Head Teacher of Noro Primary School, Vernon Apusae said “I enjoyed the Forum. Customers and stakeholders received good information especially in terms of how and why we pay for water. Our bill will be less expensive, if we control our own water use. The CEO presented a good illustration about this and I am sharing this information with my teachers at the school.”

Noro Town Clerk, Gavin Totu said “This stakeholders’ forum is a first of its kind for us in Noro. We received firsthand information about SIWA’s strategic plan and projects. We also were made aware about the issues and challenges Solomon Water is facing. This forum made all of these issues clear for our awareness and we appreciate the presentations and discussions shared with the Solomon Water CEO.” 

The CEO expressed gratitude for the engagement received during the forums, stating, "The session proved very informative. The forum received some very positive feedback from the stakeholders about SIWA and also some valuable questions and suggestions."

The CEO also commended the Solomon Water Noro team, "The stakeholders were very forward about commending the work that our team does in Noro, which was great to hear. Thank you, Noro team, for everything you do for our customers."

This is the first in a series of provincial stakeholders forums the Solomon Water CEO will be conducting in the provinces this year.

The Solomon Water Stakeholders Forum was held at the Marina Hotel Conference Room in Noro. Chief Operations Officer Scravin Tongi and Communications Officer Sophia Tango were also part of the Solomon Water team attending the Forum.

Media contact:

Ruth Ramoifuila, Communications and Corporate Support Coordinator

Phone: 44662 | Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Solomon Water CEO Carmine Piantedosi presenting at the Noro Stakeholder Forum on Friday 16 February 2024 at the Marina Hotel Conference Room. The Forum was well attended by representatives from Noro-based businesses and schools.

“Improving value, Improving services and Improving for the future”

Solomon Water has announced new tariffs effective 1 January 2024 approved by the Solomon Islands Government through the Minister for Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification (MMERE). The new tariff represents an increase of 81 cents per kilolitre (tonne) of water for the lowest domestic tariff band. The tariffs have been reviewed in consideration of the following drivers:

  • Increasing cost of delivery of water and wastewater services such as rising electricity, maintenance, and infrastructure development expenses.
  • Continuous improvements Solomon Water will be undertaking to provide safe and reliable water services in our areas of operations.
  • Loan repayments to the Government for donor-funded water infrastructure projects.

Solomon Water Board Chairman Donald Marahare states “The increase is necessary to ensure the SOE is able to meet rising operating costs and make required investments to ensure that every household and business in its operating areas has access to safe and reliable water”.

We’re with you in improving value, improving services and improving for the future - all aimed at delivering our vision of “Safe water for a healthy nation”.

Media contact:

Ruth Ramoifuila, Communications and Corporate Support Coordinator

Phone: 44662 | Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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NOTE: The full cost schedule of the new tariffs, service charges and other fees is here: 2024 Water and Wastewater Tariff, Service Charge and Other Fees

 

Solomon Water wishes to inform customers that it has extended the suspension of water supply from Kongulai and Kombito sources due to elevated turbidity levels caused by Tropical Cyclone Jasper's heavy rains. Supply from both water sources were closed on Tuesday this week.

Turbidity, a measure of water cloudiness, results from silt, mud, algae, or other particles in surface water sources.

Solomon Water CEO Carmine Piantedosi says “Solomon Water prioritises the health and safety of our customers and turbidity levels at the source are at very unsafe levels right now. This precautionary measure to turn off supply is essential to avoid providing water unsafe for consumption or use. The disinfection process is ineffective in high turbidity, posing health risks and potential pipe blockages for customers”.

Solomon Water also apologises for the inconvenience and advises customers that supply restoration depends on improving weather conditions.

“We acknowledge the hardship we are all facing during this shutdown. Supply resumption at Kongulai and Kombito hinges on improved weather conditions during this cyclone season,” CEO Carmine says.

Solomon Water is closely monitoring the situation and will provide updates on supply restoration to customers.

Media contact:

Ruth Ramoifuila, Communications and Corporate Support Coordinator

Phone: 44662 | Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Solomon Water is thrilled to be working with Goulburn Valley Water of Australia as part of the ‘Partnerships for a Resilient and Climate Smart Water Sector’ program, facilitated by the Australian Water Association and the Pacific Water and Wastewater Association.

The water utility partnership program, funded through the Australian Water Partnership by the Australian Government, encompasses three vital action areas:

  1. Finding solutions for rising sea levels: This initiative aims to reduce saltwater ingress at Noro water source on New Georgia Island, ensuring a sustainable source of freshwater for the region.
  2. Reducing water loss from the water system in Honiara: A pilot project will be launched in three district metered areas (DMAs) to combat water loss, which is a pressing issue for Solomon Water. This will improve the efficiency and sustainability of the water distribution system.
  3. Strengthening the meter-to-cash process: This initiative will map and identify areas for development within the same areas piloted in the NRW project - all towards streamlining and strengthening Solomon Water’s billing and revenue collection processes.

Chief Operations Officer Scravin Tongi emphasized the value of this twinning program to Solomon Water's operations and business, stating, "This partnership is a game-changer for us. It enables us to access international expertise and resources, which will significantly enhance our capacity to address the climate change and water-related challenges we face."

Revenue and Debt Recovery Coordinator Lucy Bonunga expressed her appreciation of the twinning program, saying, "Working with Goulburn Valley Water to reduce water loss in Honiara is a golden opportunity for us. Water loss is a significant concern for Solomon Water, and collaborating with our Australian counterparts will help us develop effective strategies to combat this issue head-on.”

The partnership program marks a significant step toward building a more resilient and climate-smart water sector in the Solomon Islands.

Monica, Goulburn Valley Water lead for the meter to cash action area, said that the program presents unique prospects to create lasting solutions to mutual water sector issues, "This has been an incredible opportunity to work together collaboratively, build relationships, share problems, and look at solutions to meet our shared vision of being able to provide safe and reliable water.”

For Dan Wooley, Goulburn Valley Water lead for the water loss project, it was his first international experience. He had this to say about his experience, "I cannot believe I have been so lucky to be involved in such an amazing program. It’s been an eye-opening, mind-blowing, yet humbling experience. This has been a life-changing experience in so many ways. I would like to thank AWA and Solomon Water for this opportunity to work alongside the Solomon Water team, to build bonds with an international water utility, and work together to build a better, more sustainable future for everyone.”

Mark Mitchell, Goulburn Valley Water lead for the saline intrusion project on New Georgia Island, said the partnership program better positioned the Goulburn Valley Water team to provide advice and support that would respond to the challenges and barriers Solomon Water faced. "This is a fantastic opportunity to work with like-minded peers facing similar climate change issues in a uniquely different environment. It broadened my understanding of the different challenges our partners in the Pacific Islands face.”

The Solomon Water and Goulburn Valley Water twinning partnership started in March 2023, and aims to create a long-term beneficial relationship between the two organisations.

Media contact:

Ruth Ramoifuila, Communications and Corporate Support Coordinator

Phone: 44662 | Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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PDF download: Media Release: Solomon Water and Goulburn Valley Water forge international partnership

 

The Solomon Water Non Revenue Water Team with Goulburn Valley Water operations specialist Dan Wooley. Photo: AWA/Zac Rudge.
Monica and Dan from Goulburn Valley Water joined the Solomon Water Revenue Team to identify challenges with water metering in the Honiara network. Photo: AWA/Zac Rudge.

Solomon Water has extended the suspension of water supply from Kongulai and Kombito sources due to high turbidity levels caused by the recent heavy rains.

Turbidity is a measurement of how cloudy the water is in surface water sources and can be caused by silt, mud, algae, or other particles in the water.

The action to turn off supply is necessary to ensure we do not supply water that is unsafe for drink or use. Our disinfection process cannot kill any bacteria when there is high turbidity which makes it unsafe and poses health risks to customers. High turbidity in water will also clog pipes and customers facilities.

To its valued customer, Solomon Water apologises for any inconvenience caused by this necessary action in ensuring safe water supply to its customers.

“We acknowledge the hardship all of us are experiencing right now and want to assure customers and the public that Solomon Water strives to provide safe and clean water at all times” says Solomon Water CEO Carmine Piantedosi. “We cannot compromise on the health and safety of our customers when our water sources have high turbidity, which is why we took this necessary action to turn off supply”.

Solomon Water is closely monitoring the situation and will provide updates to customers on when the supply will be restored.

Media contact:

Ruth Ramoifuila, Communications and Corporate Support Coordinator

Phone: 44662 | Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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