The Republic of Mauritius is an Indian Ocean archipelago nation just off the southeastern coast of Africa. The country is home to many ethnic groups, races, languages, religions and cultures. With such diversity, the country is perceived as a melting pot. The water quality in Mauritius is mostly safe, but it is not always up to international standards.
More than half of the water supply in the country is sourced from groundwater, and the rest is derived from reservoirs and lakes. Freshwater emanates from the country’s 92 rivers, 13 natural and man-made lakes and groundwater sources.
Surface water courses through water basins, while five main aquifers provide water for both domestic and irrigation use. About 99.4 percent of the population has access to safe drinking water, with per capita consumption reaching up to 190 liters of water per day.
Because tap water quality in Mauritius is reportedly dependent on the village locale, tourists are advised to avoid tap water altogether in favor of bottled water. However, a closer look at the country’s commitment to water security and safety shows that many steps have been taken and many are underway.
Improving Tap Water Quality in Mauritius
The Central Water Authority (CWA) of Mauritius is tasked with providing safe drinking water – or potable water – to all Mauritians. Water for irrigation purposes is regulated by the Irrigation Authority, while the Waste Management Authority (WMA) is responsible for managing wastewater.
In order to meet the nation’s water needs for all sectors up to the year 2040, the nation’s Water Resources Unit has worked out a plan to harness additional water resources. Construction of storage dams, diverted run-off from river streams and the development of ground water sources have all been explored in the plan.
Water resources are constantly monitored to check for the presence of contamination. Two laboratories in the country monitor the quality of the treated water supply to ensure compliance with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for potable water, as well as the quality of raw water resources. This has included testing of the physical, chemical and microbiological perimeters of the potable water. In this way, good water quality in Mauritius is ensured.
In an effort to promote more sustainable use of water, water resource infrastructure is being improved. This has included an analysis of canals, storage dams and dikes to minimize water losses and identify any necessary rehabilitations to the existing infrastructure.
Additionally, monitoring is conducted in the coastal zones due to the nation’s reliance on subsistence fisheries. Ground and lagoon water is checked for contamination and standards have been established for wastewater management.
As a melting pot, Mauritius brings many people together. This spirit is reflected in the archipelago nation’s existing legal and institutional framework in maintaining water security and cleanliness for all Mauritians.
High management of water quality in Mauritius ensures that proper water sanitation is maintained. With the implementation of future projects, Mauritius aims to accept present challenges, overcome constraints and supply water for all.
– Mohammed Khalid