Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, has welcomed the entry of new pipes into the market, which will provide the National Water Commission (NWC), and other agencies with a wider array of ways to reduce losses from non-revenue water.
The Minister was speaking on Thursday, May 30, at the launch and exhibition of eZeeflow PPR HDPE Pipes and Fittings, a collaboration of Patrick Commodities Limited, and Gobal Hardware Inc, at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston.
Pointing out that some 65 per cent of the water produced and distributed by the NWC is non-revenue, due to illegal connections, leakage, and commercial losses, Mr. Pickersgill said a part of stopping this “haemorrhaging, is a pipe network which is hardy, resistant, and long-lasting.”
“I am not in a position to endorse any one product…but I welcome the choices available to our water agencies, particularly the NWC, which is seeking to upgrade and expand its infrastructure this financial year, at a cost of approximately $10 billion,” he told the gathering.
Mr. Pickersgill said the expansion and diversification of the market for pipes was necessary, due to the country’s aging water infrastructure.
“I am advised that the new pipes being introduced represent a revolutionary new technology that holds the promise of bringing more alternative choices for the water sector as well as the water infrastructure network, which is so critical to the delivery of potable water and sewerage services throughout the island,” he said.
The Minister informed that investigations are being done, and measures being implemented to improve distribution, and reduce non-revenue water.
“In the future, this will include the implementation of a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition/Integrated Water Management System (SCADA/IWMS), which will improve NWC’s operations and maintenance capacity,” he explained.
He noted that the deterioration of water and sewerage systems and non-revenue water is set against the background of increasing demands in water deficient areas.
However, the Minister stressed that Government is addressing these issues, and will continue to strive to meet the growing needs of rural and urban populations, by continuing to improve and expand these water and sewerage infrastructure to increase access to potable water from 73 per cent to 85 per cent by 2017.
Pipes, he said, are a crucial element of improving the infrastructure network, to meet this target.
Poly Propylene Random Co-Polymer (PPR) is considered ‘food grade,’ lead free material, which can be used in major water distribution networks. These are used in a thermal fusion socket welding technique, which is cost effective, and fully leakage proof.
Contact: Alphea Saunders