Our candidates are on a worldwide mission to analyze, understand and discover the richness of energy and environment activities. Like all GDF SUEZ employees, they are committed to responsible energy.
currently in France
currently in France
L’etonnante situation de l’eau en Polynesie francaise
Why should you think twice before drinking tap water or taking a dip in Tahiti?
Tahiti, the sun, the heat … thirsty all of a sudden? Your immediate reaction is to run the tap and pour yourself a large glass of water. In French Polynesia only half the population can do so since just five out of 48 districts supply their residents with potable water. Isn’t it astonishing?
So, without tap water to refresh you, maybe the sea should do the job. You dive into the ocean at the very first beach you find. Bad idea! According to the Public Health and Safety Center (Centre d’Hygiène et de Salubrité Publique) bathing is impossible in most of the water around the island of Tahiti, due to unsuitable waste water treatment systems. Strange for such a tourist site, isn’t it?
Who is in charge of the water and treatment service in French Polynesia?
The districts are responsible for drinking water and treatment. They can then delegate this responsibility to a private operator under several agreements.
Why are there not more water facilities?
Providing drinking water and treating waste water requires large investments and the districts do not always have the resources. Furthermore, in many parts of Polynesia, residents are reluctant to pay for drinking water. Running water is paid for once a year at a fixed price (and therefore not based on consumption) that is not very high. In this setting it is difficult for districts to consider large investments, which would result in raising the water price.
If you took a good look at the table in the above paragraph, you would say to us, “but with a concession agreement the private operator invests for the district! That could get things moving!” That’s right, but investments by public bodies benefit from much larger grants and the districts often prefer lease agreements, where they are in charge of the investments.
Even if there is still a great deal to do, the situation should improve in the years ahead thanks to territorial legislation requiring the districts to supply potable water by 2015 and treat their waste water by 2020.
Why mention it?
Well, it is interesting because a SUEZ Environnement company is sector leader: La Société Polynésienne des Eaux et de l’Assainissement.
Established in 1992, SPEA provides a public service in water and waste water treatment for districts, co-ownership associations and communities:
SPEA can be considered a pioneer in the French Polynesian water sector:
A big thank you to the SPEA teams for welcoming us and sharing these fascinating priorities with us. You can find more details on the businesses and activities of SPEA at http://www.net-pf.com/spea/
The Energy Tellers.
Here are two interesting links for those who want to find out about the subject in more depth: