Sirinumu dam

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Sirinumu water level heads for danger mark

The water level at Sirinumu dam is dropping to a dangerous level and people are urged to save water.

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Sirinumu water level heads for danger mark

PNG Power Ltd (PPL) the owner of the dam in a statement advised, electricity consumers (in Port Moresby and parts of Central Province) to be serious with electricity and water saving methods due to the decreasing water levels at the Sirinumu Dam reservoir.

“As of Monday January 25, the volume of water at the dam is 102 Million Cubic Metres (Mm3), which is 30% of the spill level.

“The Sirinumu Dam was designed to hold 340 Mm3 of water.

Sirinumu water level continues to drop

PNG Power Limited (PPL) which owns the dam which is the sole supplier of drinking water to Port Moresby and Central Province stated that, “12mm of rainfall was recorded over the last 10 days thus there has been a decrease in the water level.”

There has been a drop by 2 million cubic metres in the last 10 days. 

 “As of Thursday January 14, 2016, the water level is 31 percent below spill level, which is 106 million cubic metres (Mm3),” the PPL statement said.  

The dam water capacity is 340Mm.

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Dam water level still dropping

Sirinumu Dam water level continues to drop despite the rain experienced in Central Province after the long drought.

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Dam water level still dropping

The water at the dam catchment area is the sole supplier of drinking water for the nation’s capital and parts of Central Province.

Its owner, PNG Power (PPL) also uses the water to generate hydro-electricity to supply its grid.

PPL announced that, “Sirinumu Dam catchment area has recorded only a little rainfall over the last week measuring only 40mm of rain.

“As of Monday December 21, the water level has gone down to 32 percent below spill level, which is 111 million cubic metres.”

It’s a drop by 2 percent from 34 million cubic metres as of a week ago.

More rain needed for city’s water/power

December has brought rain to Central Province and Port Moresby but a good supply is needed to help the only source of water and hydro-electricity for the city.   

“It depends on how long the rain will take to come. Naturally when you look at the ground condition there are so many cracks  in the ground and if the rain comes in the first and second day, you will not expect any fill up in the dam,” said John Yanis, PNG Power acting chief executive officer.

The water level as of last week stood  at 114 million cubic metres, 34 percent of the dam’s capacity when full.

Yonki, Sirinumu “critically low”

“But I cannot give you an exact figure right now,” said John Yanis, acting chief executive officer.

The water catchment in the Yonki reservoir is used to produce hydro-electricity supplying the Ramu grid.

Morobe, Madang and Eastern Highlands are some provinces that benefit from power generated from the Ramu grid.   

Meanwhile, Sirinimu Dam in the Central Province is facing the same fate.

“The water level is at 114 million cubic metres, 34 percent of the full capacity remaining,” Yanis said.

Koiaris: No need to panic about water

Sisi Namari who hails from Berebei Village in the Sirinumu area of the Koiari LLG said there is no need to panic as yet.

Namari said the water level had dropped because of the long drought but the water level is not bad like in 1997.

Noonex Ano, another local made the same remarks.

The dam water catchment area is the only source of drinking water for Port Moresby residents.

Also it is used by the owner, PNG Power, to generate hydro-electricity for its consumers also.  

Eda Ranu concerned about shortage

 Chief Operating Officer Dr Fifaia Matainaho says the current water rationing exercise is part of their strategy to save water.

“We need to understand that we do not have any other source for water and we all rely on Sirinumu dam for our use,” he says.

Eda Ranu estimates that by the first week of January Sirinumu will have only 100 million cubic metres.

As soon as this happens PNG Power will stop using Sirinumu for power generation and turn to its other source of energy.

Water level at Sirinumu Dam - 116.78 million cubic meters

The total capacity for the dam catchment area is 340 MCM.

There is an agreement by the State owned power and water supplier if the water level drops to 100MCM where Eda Ranu will use the remaining water in the catchment area to supply drinking water to Port Moresby and its surrounding areas.

And PPL will resort to fuel generators to fill the short fall to provide electricity.      

“PPL has reduced (electricity) generation at Rouna Hydro. We have not reached the system 100 MCM yet at the dam,” Yanis told Loop PNG.