NWC Implements 560 Water Supply Projects

Over the 13-year period, 1992 to 2005, the National Water Commission (NWC) has implemented over 560 water supply projects at a cost of approximately $10 billion. As a result, hundreds of communities with thousands of beneficiaries, have either received water supply services for the first time or have had significant improvements to their water supply service.
According to NWC Vice President in its western Division, Ajaykumar Vijayan, the upgrading forms a part of the ‘Jamaica Water Sector Policy, Strategies and Action Plans’, formulated in 2002, and aimed at facilitating the development of the water sector to a level of universal access by the year 2010.
Speaking at a press briefing in Montego Bay on March 22 (World Water Day), the Vice President pointed out that the on-going improvements being carried out by the agency nationally have led to an increase from 60 per cent to 75 per cent, the number of persons having access to piped potable water.
“We anticipate that in another three to four years, the total number of Jamaicans with access to water will be around 90 per cent. Additionally, the NWC has moved its customer base from about 270,000 in 1992 to just over 400,000 customers, and distributing about 190 million gallons of water on a daily basis,” he noted.
Acknowledging that there are other agencies across the island that also implement water supply projects and are in the business of water distribution, Mr. Vijayan said those entities accounted for another 140 water projects over the same period, with an estimated expenditure of approximately $2 billion, and providing water for an additional 10 per cent of the population.
“All of these achievements have been tempered by the challenges presented by the imbalances between availability and demand, the degradation of groundwater and surface water quality, and issues of the environment, particularly watershed management, which all centre around the question of how to cope with scarce water resources,” he said.
He pleaded for the protection of Jamaica’s watershed areas, and for all to make a conscious effort to conserve water.
World Water Day was observed under the theme: ‘Coping with water scarcity’.

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