Rainwater Collection

Sources of Access to Potable Water in Kivalina

  • Outside the water plant building there is a coin operated machine where people buy their water (25ct. per 5 Gallon).
  • People go upstream to collect water from the river. To do so, access to a boat and fuel is needed. Usually they collect from the Wulik river. Since the Zinc Mine discharges into the water shed of the Wulik river, some people said that they prefer to take water from Kivalina river nowadays.   
  • Rainwater which is usually collected in 35 gallon plastic buckets. Recently people in the village noticed some bad taste which they reported to AVEC (Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, Inc. Power Plant). A comment made on August 30th, 2012 on the Facebook Group “Kivalina Water Situation” says:  „I’ve spoken with our AVEC plant operator. He’ll try to burn the oil only when the wind is to the South, IF he needs to burn oil. That incident was only a one occurance and it was unintentional while it was raining. We didn’t know the soot was going to get into the people’s rain water and we never thought to address that. But it didn’t go into everyones rain water, just a few who were in it’s path. Live and learn! Our apologies. The rain should be okay now.“
  • In winter they cut ice blocks out of the rivers (some tend to take it from the Kivalina river now)
  • There is a village shop where people can buy water„Spent $100 in the last week.I have 4 kids, water is an essential need for them. Collecting rain water but it’s just wash water. Not drinking the rainwater because I don’t want to get sick,“ said a Kivalina resident.
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