Rain – but desalination still needed in Tuvalu

Though rain fell in the drought-stricken islands of Tuvalu and Tokelau in the last week of October 2011, the Red Cross maintained that the region still faced water shortages.

However, the rain did enable Tokelau to lift its state of emergency. The territory is a dependency of New Zealand, which had sent three reverse-osmosis (RO) desalination plants to the three atolls.

In Tuvalu’s capital, Funafuti, a Pall WTS30 microfiltration (MF) and RO system is providing 40,000 L/d of fresh water for the island’s 10,500 residents. The system is owned and operated by the New Zealand military.

The WTS30 system incorporates Microza™ MF membranes for prefiltration and Disc Tube™ RO membranes for desalination. Designed to military defence standard 00-35, the system is housed in two 10-ft (3m) ISO containers and is shock and vibration qualified for transportation by land, sea or air.