JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government will be carrying out extensive improvement works on the West Central St. James Water Supply System
  • The upgrading project will be carried out over the next 18 months
  • The project is expected to alleviate severe water shortage for an estimated 25,000 persons

Minister of State in the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Ian Hayles, has announced that the Government will be carrying out extensive improvement works on the West Central St. James Water Supply System, at a cost of approximately $862 million.

The works will include: replacement and upgrading of transmission pipe lines, upgrading of pumping stations, rehabilitation of entombment works; and extension of water storage capacity.

The upgrading project will be carried out over the next 18 months, and is expected to alleviate severe water shortage for an estimated 25,000 persons.

Addressing participants on a tour of areas of the constituency on August 21, the State Minister said given the current water supply shortage in the West Central St. James communities, the Ministry has responded and citizens “would be experiencing significant improvement to their water supply in the short term”.

“One of the main things that we are doing now, in terms of phase one, is to run a pipe from Martha Brae to St. James, Great River, which will give us an additional five million gallons of water.  That, undoubtedly, will help the people of St. James and its environs which will be in line with our 2020 goal of 85 per cent of our people having potable piped water,” Minister Hayles explained.

He indicated that as part of the improvement agenda there will be an extensive repair/refurbishing programme for water storage tanks across the parish. This is to ensure a sustainable and reliable water supply system for the entire parish, focusing on the tourism areas.

He indicated that priority works would include: Fairfield storage expansion; Granville (Hartwell) replacement and expansion; replacement and expansion of Pitfour storage capacity; replacement and relocation of Moy Hall storage and upgrading of pump stations; expansion of  Bogue Hill storage capacities; and rehabilitation of Fairfield pumping stations to maximize production capacity.

Meanwhile, Mr. Hayles noted that the National Water Commission spends over $500 million monthly on electricity, and that this has to be drastically reduced.

Therefore, he noted, an estimated $8.1 billion has been provided under the Pump and Tank Programme for the entire island, in an effort to stem that expenditure. “I am happy to say that this is one of the areas that will be retrofitted and rehabilitated for greater effectiveness,” he said.

Under the Pump and Tank Programme, water is directly pumped to tanks and then gravity fed to customers.  This allows the NWC to pump during off peak hours when the electricity rates are significantly lower, then store and supply to customers.