Groundwater development is a government initiative that recognizes groundwater resources as a potential source of water in the rural areas where it is assessed to be present. The Mineral Resources Department was dedicated the responsibility due to the nature and occurrence of groundwater as close relation to geology as well as the existence of technical expertise, resources, data and experience in groundwater assessment. Such development responsibility of the Department in groundwater development ends at the completion of the borehole construction and pump test and it is the responsibility of the concerned communities to reticulate the water from the borehole for their benefits.
A number of communities have difficulties in securing funds or assistance and are unable to reticulate the water from the borehole for their benefits and in some cases the borehole are left unused and damaged or vandalized.
The Mineral Resources Department has been conducting hydrogeological studies in Fiji since 1967. In respond to the rapidly increasing demand from the public to use groundwater, MRD established the Groundwater Resources Assessment and Development Unit (GRADU) in 1985, in co-operation with the British Government.
MRD is responsible for collecting and storing all information relating to groundwater in Fiji. Investigations carried out by GRADU are designed to improve knowledge of groundwater and are directed to areas of particular need so any groundwater discovered can be utilized for the benefits of the deserving public.
In the early arrangement GRADU would carry out the groundwater assessment and investigation which then includes drilling of exploratory/test boreholes by the Drilling Section. The then PWD is responsible for reticulation of water from the boreholes if it is confirmed to be sustainable to the communities.
The current arrangement, at the completion of the borehole construction and pump test, a completion report is then submitted to the community who requests for such groundwater development. A copy of the report is often submitted to the respective Divisional Officer for their reference. It is then the community’s responsibility to seek fund or assistance to reticulate the water from the bore to each individual household. The completion report contains the respective details for the pump setting and the specification of the submersible pump that matches borehole capacity to ensure sustainable extraction of groundwater.
- To explore potential integration approach with/amongst respective stakeholders to advance groundwater development project to ensure communities benefits from borehole (groundwater) sources.
- To put together a clear standard operating procedures for the integration approach of advancing the groundwater development from where MRD’s role ends to ensure rural communities benefits from discovery of groundwater
Requests for Groundwater Assessment & Development
- Request is received by the Department through formal letter or email and forwarded to Director of Mineral Development (DMD) for approval.
- Community requests may be submitted with a support letter from the relevant Provincial Administrator/District Officer/ or Divisional Commissioner.
- Request for Commercial or Private ground water development is subject to DMD’s approval which the Department shall issue a quotation for the work required. Commitment to carry out such work will only commence after full amount of the quoted amount is paid to MRD accounts.
- Endorsement by Director Mineral Development (DMD) and verfication by Hydrogeology section
- Sent acknowledgement letter to the customer.