Due to high turbidity, the Kongulai Gravity Source closure has been extended until further notice.

The shutdown is due to high turbidity (silt and dirt particles in the water) experienced upstream as a result of heavy rains at the water source.

This action is necessary to ensure safe and clean water is distributed to customers”, Acting CEO Scravin Tongi says. “Our water meets the World Health Organisation (WHO) Standards about 98 % of the time. It’s only following heavy rain, particularly in Kombito and Kongulai catchments where illegal activities of logging and quarrying cause sediment that affects the supply and we must shut down”.

Mr Tongi added “We cannot continue to distribute water when the turbidity level is high as the disinfection process cannot kill any bacteria in the water, making it unsafe and pose health risk to customers”.

He said the situation is being closely monitored and customers will be updated when the supply will be turned back on. 

Our vision is “safe water for a healthy nation” and we are obliged to strive to provide safe water at all times”, the Acting CEO said.

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

Solomon Water strives to provide our customers with safe and reliable water and wastewater services. Back in 2012, Solomon Water used to supply water for around 5 hours per day. With the many improvements that we are undertaking, our supply duration is now over 22 hours per day, and we are striving to provide a 24 hours water service to our customers in the near future.

In meeting the evolving regulatory requirements, water supply needs and customer expectations in the future, Solomon Water announces to its customers that as of January 1 2022 there has been an increase in water tariff. As part of our ongoing “We Are With You” campaign, the increase will be aimed at improving reliable water services to our customers and this includes Kongulai water treatment plant, renovation of the White River bore field, increasing production in the Kombito / Panatina area and upgrades to various provincial water supplies.

Solomon Water appreciates the difficulties to customers at present due to wet weather affecting the water catchment areas at Kongulai and Kombito and we are taking steps to try and reduce the impacts caused by the illegal activities that are causing the dirty water. We have made several improvements in 2021 to increase our production capacity to reduce the impact of these shutdowns, and have several more planned for 2022. The Kongulai water treatment plant will also shortly start construction around mid 2022 and will be completed in late 2023 allowing Solomon Water to produce water regardless of weather and catchment conditions. Forty cents from every kilolitre of water sold will go towards future management and protection of the water catchment areas.

To assist with this effort, the government through the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification and the Ministry of Finance and Treasury has approved an increase in the water tariff and the commercial monthly standing charge which are now in effect. It reflects the cost of delivery of water and wastewater services and the continuous improvements that we will be undertaking to provide safe and reliable water services in our areas of operations. Other minor changes including new domestic service connections and other fees have also been approved.

Board Chairman designate Tony Makabo said “We thank the Government for working with us and supporting the need for adequate funding for improvements to Solomon Water’s services. We acknowledge that some households may struggle to afford basic services but note that the water supplied by Solomon Water meets World Health Standards 98% of the time and is safe to drink. The new tariff represents only an increase of 84 cents per Kilolitre (tonne) of water for the lowest domestic tariff band.

Our tariff is partly driven by high electricity costs and the need to provide our share of funds into the significant donor-funded upgrade programme. We also need to fund loan repayments to Government for some of the donor-funded works. We ask Government to assist us with further donor grant funds instead of loans to assist in keeping water affordable to all our customers”.

We appreciate that clean water and good sanitation are essential for people to remain healthy, and Solomon Water’s vision of “Safe water for a healthy nation” is at the heart of us working with our stakeholders, communities and customers in improving our services. Improved water and sanitation lead to better health outcomes, healthier children, less time off school and work, and reduced health costs.

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”.

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About Solomon Water

Solomon Islands Water Authority (SIWA) - trading as Solomon Water - has served customers and communities for 30 years since its inception in 1992. We provide municipal water and wastewater services in Honiara, and municipal water services in the provincial urban centers of Auki, Noro and Tulagi.

Solomon Water is a state-owned Enterprise (SOE) created under the SIWA Act 1992. Solomon Water is also subject to the State-owned Enterprises Act 2007 and State-owned Enterprises Regulations 2010.

Solomon Water is governed by a board of directors that is responsible to the Minister for Finance and Treasury and the Minister for Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification.

Our Vision is “Safe water for a healthy nation”.

Our Mission is “To provide reliable and safe water supply and sewerage services within our area of operations in Solomon Islands, while working in partnership with the community to plan, deliver and operate infrastructure in a manner that seeks to minimise the social and environmental impacts of our activities”.

Please visit www.solomonwater.com.sb for additional information about the state-owned enterprise.

To connect with Solomon Water via Facebook, please visit www.facebook.com/SolomonWater.

Solomon Water is the State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) appointed and responsible supplier of water to provincial urban centers of the Solomon Islands and receives a Community Service Obligation (CSO) payment from the Government for provision of services to Auki and Tulagi.

The CSO contract between the Ministry of Finance and Treasury and Solomon Water requires that a Customer Satisfaction Survey be carried out in the towns of Auki and Tulagi to identify patterns in customer experience. The survey includes responses to faults, notification of interruption to water supply and customers’ understanding of invoices. In both Provinces the satisfaction levels of certain services, (Understanding of invoices, Attendance to faults and Notifications of interruptions to water supply) average around 40% satisfactory and 60% not satisfied. In terms of disconnections and reconnections, 96% were satisfied with the remainder 4% not satisfied.

Solomon Water CEO, Ian Gooden stated “2021 has been a very challenging year for us which reflects on the outcome of the survey, however we continue to improve our services in the provinces. We also appreciate the support from the Solomon Islands Government through the Community Service Obligation and look forward to a continuing partnership in 2022”.

A copy of the completed CSO report is available from the Solomon Water communications unit if required.

In support of Government and the Chamber of Commerce initiatives to get many more people vaccinated, Solomon Water has announced a 5% discount on all domestic water and waste water account payments beginning from 1 October until 31 December this year.

All postpaid and cashwater customers who received their first Covid shot or are fully vaccinated are eligible for the discount if they show their vaccination card when they pay their bills at any Solomon Water cashier outlets or electronically (electronic payers are to present their vaccination cards subsequently to Solomon Water’s Customer Care team). Customers are advised that the discount is one time only and applies to those who have had one or two vaccinations.

The 5% discount is in addition to other smaller prizes such as branded drinking bottles, bags, umbrellas, pens and USB drives that Solomon Water is contributing to the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce “Bisnis For Vaccines” campaign.

The campaign is to encourage and drive vaccination amongst all Solomon islanders as Solomon Islands continues its fight against COVID-19.

The “Bisnis For Vaccines” campaign will reward anyone who received their first jab or has been fully vaccinated with prizes to be drawn in coming months.

CEO Ian Gooden says Solomon Water is happy to support SICCI and government in this important campaign to protect Solomon Islanders against the coronavirus “We are participating in this campaign by donating some small prizes, but more importantly we are offering all customers who come to pay their water accounts a 5% discount if they show their vaccination cardSolomon Water has over 14,000 customers and this campaign is to encourage customers to get vaccinated and also to reward them by saving themselves some money”.

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Note for Solomon Water Customers:

5% discount terms and conditions

  • Solomon Water offers the discount only to domestic customers who are vaccinated.
  • Customers who received their first vaccination or are fully vaccinated are eligible to claim the discount.
  •  Customers can pay at Solomon Water cashiers or electronically.
  •  Customers who pay electronically are to present their vaccination cards subsequently to Solomon Water’s Customer Care team.
  • Vaccinated customers are required to show their vaccination record card to the cashier to claim the discount. Please note the Solomon Water cashier will photocopy your card for our records.
  • Discount is one-time only.
  • Discount offer starts on Friday 1 October 2021 until Friday 31 December 2021.
  • Contact Customer Care team on 44700 for more information.

Solomon Water has awarded a major contract to Plan International Australia to implement a Hygiene Promotion Project in six Honiara settlements.

The Hygiene Promotion Project is expected to improve effective hygiene behavior and increase the number of households using effective toilets and hand washing facilities in selected settlements. It is part of Solomon Water’s overall water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) program under the Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Project (UWSSSP).

Honiara settlements that will benefit from the WASH Hygiene Promotion Project are Kombito 1, Kombito 2, Kombito 3, Mamulele, Green Valley and Independence Valley.   The settlement selection process was conducted by Solomon Water and the Honiara City Council.

“Plan International Australia has extensive experience in the WASH sector and Solomon Water is excited to work with their team” said Solomon Water CEO Ian Gooden. “The Hygiene Promotion Project focuses on improving hand washing at critical times, using an effective toilet, and managing and using water in a safe and hygienic way”.

“While the Hygiene Promotion Project was not designed specifically to address pandemics such as the current coronavirus, Solomon Water expects the project to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene practices for approximately 7,000 people – including women and girls - in the selected settlements” he said. “In turn, the improved WASH behaviors will ultimately reduce the transmission of water and air borne illnesses, including coronavirus”.

The Hygiene Promotion Project is part of Solomon Water’s Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Project (UWSSSP) that is funded by the Solomon Islands Government and development partners the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank and European Union (EU).

Other key WASH projects Solomon Water is implementing under UWSSSP are a recently completed WASH Household Survey and the WASH in Schools Project.

The Hygiene Promotion Project has commenced and will be implemented over 14 months.

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