• Category

  • Content Type


NWC Less of A Fiscal Risk to Gov’t – Prime Minister Holness

By: , March 20, 2023
NWC Less of A Fiscal Risk to Gov’t – Prime Minister Holness
Photo: Donald De La Haye
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, makes a point during his 2023/24 Budget Debate presentation in the House of Representatives, on Thursday (March 16).

The Full Story

The State-owned National Water Commission (NWC) is now less of a fiscal risk to the Government, says Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.

He told the House of Representatives, during his 2023/24 Budget Debate presentation on Thursday (March 16), that over the last financial year, the NWC recorded significant achievements at the strategic and operational levels, resulting in a “stronger more robust utility, able to better carry out its mandate”.

“NWC’s financial performance has shown a worthy turnaround, moving from a net loss of $2.13 billion in the 2021/22 financial year to a net year-to-date profit of $2.73 billion as of January 2022/23. This performance means that the NWC is now much less of a fiscal risk to the Government,” the Prime Minister said.

He added that “thanks to its Board and its management executives, the NWC is operating with a higher level of efficiency”, while emphasising that when the entity makes a profit, its customers will benefit from increased investments in water supply.

“Efficiency of public-sector entities pays a dividend to the citizen stakeholder,” Mr. Holness further stated.

He noted that over the last fiscal year, there was a marked increase in system coverage, reliability, and level of service by the NWC, with several projects funded by the agency being completed and commissioned into service.

These include the Baron Hill to Samuel Prospect pipeline replacement works in Trelawny; a new distribution network to serve persons in the New Building area of Nain, as a part of the Essex Valley to Junction Water Supply System in St Elizabeth, and the replacement of aged pipelines serving the greater Black River area, including between Luana to Middle Quarters and onto New Holland, as well as from Sandy Ground into the town of Black River.

This is in addition to the extension of pipelines to supply the community of Mile Gully in Christiana; a new full supply scheme, including development of a new source, pipelines and storage tank in the Mason River/Bullhead Mountain/Douglas Castle communities on the border of Clarendon and St Ann; and the extension of the Negril water supply system to serve Non Pariel, Mount Airy, Retirement, Orange Hill and Negril Spots in Westmoreland.

Several secondary storage tanks to improve reliability and reduce energy consumption at Frazer Hill in St Thomas, Liberty in St Ann, Westgate in Montego Bay, and York Town in Clarendon were also completed.

“These projects have increased the capacity of the NWC to deliver water by upwards of five million gallons per day, and will positively impact a population of approximately 200,000 persons,” the Prime Minister pointed out.

Mr. Holness said more than $7 billion of capital investment will be made in fiscal year 2023/24 to support NWC projects, now under way, either in construction or procurement.

Additionally, 21 other islandwide water supply upgrading and expansion projects are programmed for the upcoming fiscal year, with projected expenditure of more than $2.5 billion. This will see the NWC’s services being extended to new communities.

Noting that the entity is “the largest single user of electricity in the island, with its 24-hour pumping and purification systems”, Mr. Holness said that in the new fiscal year, the NWC will spend in excess of $900 million to ensure more efficient pumping operations, while deploying more renewable energy within its operations.

In addition, a public-private partnership project was launched last year, which will see a floating photovoltaic system being built at the Mona Reservoir in St. Andrew.

The project will result in an investment of more than US$68 million, 45MW of Firm Capacity and will save the NWC over $1 billion annually.

The test phase has been completed, with full construction set to commence in May 2023.

“I want to assure the nation that this Government is managing public bodies, like the NWC… so that there is no risk of you, the taxpayer, having to pay more taxes… to pay for the poor management of those entities,” Mr. Holness said.

Last Updated: March 31, 2023

Skip to content