The National Water Commission (NWC) has embarked on several measures to improve water delivery in the Negril area during the short term, and to develop additional sources within 18 months.
This was announced by Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, while addressing hoteliers and other stakeholders at a function held at Breezes Negril, on April 3.
The meeting was held by the Minister to outline strategies being employed by the NWC to alleviate the difficulties being experienced by residents and businesses during the drought affecting the island.
One of the measures, the Minister said, is that the NWC is aggressively trying to deal with leaks as they are indentified on the system.
Mr. Pickersgill said the NWC is also trying to ensure the effective implementation of a schedule, to ensure that all customers receive some water at least every other day for at least eight hours, and that the Commission is already paying $9 million monthly for the trucking of water, from which it recovers no revenue.
“A new loading bay has been established along the Sheffield main road, to reduce the time, cost and difficulties involved in the legal trucking of water, and this is to be fully operational later this week,” the Minister informed.
“We are appealing to persons not to support the illegal extraction of water from the system, as this practice is only making a bad situation worse. Furthermore, the quality of water delivered in trucks that are not known to have been sterilized, cannot be guaranteed,” he stated.
Other measures to improve water supply in the Negril area are the addition of two Rapid Response trucks; and work currently taking place at the Great River Treatment Plant to get the facility to produce its maximum of 15 million gallons per day, to boost the Logwood system.
The Minister said for the longer term, work will be done to expand the water production capacity of the Martha Brae Treatment Plant from 6 million gallons per day to 11 million, as part of the process of having more water on the North Coast to distribute westwards. “This project is scheduled to be completed in about 18 months,” he added.
Mr. Pickersgill said that surveyors are currently working in the town of Lucea on preparatory works for an improved pipeline network through the town, to allow for water from the Great River Treatment Plant to come as far as Green Island, and for water from the Logwood Treatment Plant to be dedicated to serving Negril.
By Garfield Angus, JIS reporter