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Story Highlights

  • NWC is putting in place all the necessary measures to ensure that adequate water supplies are maintained across the island during the dry period.
  • The Hermitage Dam is at 76 per cent of its capacity, while the Mona Dam is around 96 per cent capacity.
  • Next week the NWC will be restricting water to the Constant Spring zone served by Hermitage between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m.

The National Water Commission (NWC) is putting in place all the necessary measures to ensure that adequate water supplies are maintained across the island during the dry period, which runs from January to March.

Vice President for Non Revenue Water/Energy Cost Reduction at the NWC, Mark Blair, said that currently, the Hermitage Dam is at 76 per cent of its capacity, while the Mona Dam is around 96 per cent capacity.

“The Hermitage Dam, we are dropping about 1 million gallons per day and at the Mona Reservoir we are dropping about .75 million gallons per day. The issue with the Hermitage Dam is we have a lot of silt…. it’s 40 per cent silted, so really, we are going to start doing some drought mitigation measures,” Mr. Blair said.

He was speaking at a press conference to provide information on drought and rainfall projections for 2014, held on January 9, at the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change in New Kingston.

Mr. Blair informed that starting next week the NWC will be restricting water to the Constant Spring zone served by Hermitage between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m.

“This is to ensure that we can go through the three-month drought period and hope that the May rains occur. For the Mona zone, which is on the eastern side of the city, we don’t expect any major restrictions there,” he stated.

The NWC operates more than 1,000 water supply and over 100 sewerage facilities islandwide. These vary from large raw water storage reservoirs at Hermitage and Mona in St. Andrew and the Great River treatment plant in St. James, to medium-sized and small diesel-driven pumping installations serving rural towns and villages across Jamaica.

Approximately 70 per cent of Jamaica’s population is supplied via house connections from the NWC and the remaining 30 per cent obtains water from standpipes, water trucks, wayside tanks, community catchment tanks, rainwater catchment tanks, and direct access to rivers and streams.