Department of Water and Sewerage

The Fijian Government has made relentless efforts in the last decade to ensure that all Fijians have access to both safe water and adequate sanitation services. It has also embedded the right to have access to clean and safe water and also efficient sanitation services into the constitution. The Government’s commitment is also reflected in the National Development Plan targeting 100% access to safe, drinking water and 60% access to improved sanitation systems by 2031.

The investment by the Fijian Government in the water and sanitation sector over the last 5 years has significantly increased. In doing so, the Fijian government is showing its responsiveness to its responsibility to meet standards, demands and also compliance for water and wastewater.
There are four types of water resources available for the people of Fiji; Surface water, groundwater, rainwater and seawater. Surface water is used as the main source of supply for all major towns on the larger, high islands of Fiji. Some small, low lying islands rely exclusively on groundwater, rainwater and seawater treated through desalination.

The Department of Water and Sewerage is responsible for the formulation of policies and regulatory frameworks for the provision of a sustainable water and sanitation sector. The Department is the focal Government Agency that provides technical advice and monitors implementation of water and sanitation projects. The Department is also mandated to monitor Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) activities in line with the Government budgetary allocations.

The Department is aligned to relevant outcomes identified in Government’s 5 and 20 Year National Development Plan, the Ministry’s 5 Year Strategic Development Plan (2019-2023), Water Authority of Fiji Act 2007, Green Growth Framework, National Climate Change Policy and National Adaptation Plan.

The role of the Department in the provision of an enabling environment for the water and sanitation sector has been made possible through the following key strategic areas:
Regulations and Policies;
Sustainable Water Resource Management;
Data Management and Sharing;
Monitoring and Compliance;
Water Quality Compliance;
Research and Development;
Water Resources Conservation Awareness and Training.

The Department of Water and Sewerage continue to work towards improving the livelihoods of all Fijians within the water and sanitation sector and furthermore foster and maintain partnerships with all its stakeholders.

The Department of Water and Sewerage is headed by the Director of Water and Sewerage with the Technical Unit responsible for monitoring and compliance and a Policy Unit responsible for policy and regulatory matters, supported by common cadre support staff.

DWS is already carrying out the integral water and wastewater quality tests and is keen to extend its service to other Ministries, Implementing agencies and even go for commercial water and wastewater testing in future. Having the idea of building up on to our regulatory and monitoring framework, we shall be expanding our laboratory services in future to agencies at a reasonable cost ensuring the quality of analysis and reporting is to standard. The Department will continuously upgrade the lab with proper and latest testing equipment so that we monitor water quality all around Fiji ensuring our people are receiving safe water.

Research and Development for low cost and user friendly technologies for water and wastewater treatment systems is an ongoing activity within the Department. The Department of Water and Sewerage in 2012 and 2013 in collaboration with JICA had researched and successfully implemented two EPS pilot projects in Kalokolevu Village and Navatuvula Village. An EPS expert, Dr.Nobutada Nakamoto and JICA Volunteer was provided under the JICA Technical Cooperation to provide assistance with investigation of EPS sites, design and planning, inspection of construction works, commissioning and training.

Initially, Government provided a $2million EPS budget to DWS in 2015 and the Department managed to install 56 EPS projects all around Fiji in 2015 and 2016. However, the EPS budget was transferred to Water Authority of Fiji for the following years. DWS continued with providing technical advice to WAF on investigation and implementation of EPS projects and also carry out inspection and water quality monitoring of all EPS projects. A total $6.4 million has been provided for the EPS program through which a total of 113 EPS has been installed in villages all over Fiji supplying safe water to approximately 30,000 villagers.

A Regional EPS Public Seminar was held in collaboration JICA and USP in USP to mark the successful implementation EPS project in Fiji. 12 Participants from 6 Pacific Island countries also participated in this 2 days seminar. This collaboration with USP and JICA has also resulted in JICA funding the EPS installation at the USP Campus. The EPS at USP will be utilized by the Department for training and awareness purposes and will also be used by USP students for research purposes. These EPS projects are contributing towards our achieving our NDP targets and SDG 6.

The Department also researched on the Ultra Filtration (UF) Water Treatment System and in 2017-2018 Financial Year implemented a pilot project in Tubalevu Village in Tailevu. The UF system treats water from the village borehole system. The water quality has been tested by the Department and it fully complies with the National Drinking Water Quality Standards. Approximately 400 people benefit from this project.

In the year 2018-2019 Financial Year, the Department installed a Solar-powered Nano filtration system in Nabitu Settlement, Sigatoka that is able to provide safe water for over 300 people. The Department continues working with other stakeholders to get low cost and user friendly water treatment systems installed in places with unacceptable drinking water quality.

Water conservation awareness is one of the predominant exercises that have been taking place in rural villages. The rural water communities are visited and water conservation awareness is carried out and villages are informed of Water Conservation Champions competition and criteria for participation. The Ra Province Water Conservation Champions were Saioko Village, Navolau No. 1 Village and Nabukadra Village winning cash prizes, toolbox of tools and Water Conservation Champions certificates. The water conservation awareness and similar competition will be taken to all provinces in Fiji.

The Department staff has also been providing training to villagers and stakeholders on the operation and maintenance of Ecological Purification Systems and water supply systems. The main aim is to train the communities to ensure that they have the capacity to take full responsibility of the systems and ensure the sustainability of these systems.

Policy & Guidelines
Rural Water Sanitation Policy
WSD Practical Guidelines

DWS Brochures
EPS iTaukei
EPS English
Water Committee English
Water Committee iTaukei
Water Conservation English
Water Conservation iTaukei



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