Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Everald Warmington, says work is advanced to deliver improved water supply to more than 150,000 residents at a cost of $8.8 billion.
Under the project, being pursued through a Water Purchase Agreement (WPA) among the National Water Commission (NWC), Vinci Construction Grand Projects (VCGP), Eppley Limited (Eppley) and Jamaica Producers Group Limited (JP), a water treatment plant will be established in Content, St. Catherine, which will deliver an additional 15 million gallons of water per day for customers in the Corporate Area, and Portmore and Spanish Town in St. Catherine.
Minister Warmington, while outlining details of the plan during his contribution to the 2021/2022 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 5, said it will bring “improved delivery of high-quality, reliable and continuous water supply… and reduced need for trucking and water restrictions to affected areas during drought”.
He added that there is potential for additional revenue by negotiation of contracts for supply to existing and new committed or planned developments, where presently there is no NWC supply available; for example, the proposed Caymanas Economic Zone.
The Minister said the project is awaiting approval for its financing structure from the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, and the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR). Work for the project is expected to be completed in two years.
Mr. Warmington said the agency is pursuing several initiatives to reduce the shortfall between water demand and supply in the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA) in the medium-term.
The Minister also updated the House on t he $3.4-billion contract to instal 14 killometres of waterlines along Spanish Town Road, noting that it is “moving apace” and is slated for completion in December 2021.
The NWC supplies 180 million imperial gallons of potable water each day to its more than 500,000 registered accounts, representing about two million persons across the island.
According to Minister Warmington, over the last five decades the growth of the industrial sector has resulted in the establishment of several new commercial entities. Additionally, an increase in the number of residential communities in various sections of St. Andrew, St. Catherine and many other parishes across the island has resulted in an increased demand for potable water.