JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The National Water Commission (NWC) is stepping up operations to reduce water loss due to theft.
  • These measures will, in some instances, involve working with law enforcement to remove illegal connections to the system.
  • The Commission is also encouraging people to become legally connected by offering flexible “welcome back” arrangements.

The National Water Commission (NWC) is stepping up operations to reduce water loss due to theft.

These measures will, in some instances, involve working with law enforcement to remove illegal connections to the system, said Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill.

He was speaking at official commissioning of the Ballater Avenue Well, located on Ballater Avenue into the NWC’s Kingston network on August 27.

The Water Minister informed that the Commission is also encouraging people to become legally connected by offering flexible “welcome back” arrangements.

These arrangements, he said, will allow customers to gradually pay down on arrears. He said that this offer is being extended to the residents, who are to benefit from the Ballater Well system.

“This will discourage customers who are disconnected, from thinking that they have no option but to steal the water,” he noted.

Mr. Pickersgill informed that unmetered customers will be provided with the device, so that the water they use will be measured and the Commission will also be replacing some old, under-performing meters.

In addition, he informed, the NWC is trying to reduce leaks by controlling the pressure in the pipelines to reduce the frequency of breakage, and replacing aged pipelines. The incidence of overflowing tanks and water losses at the NWC’s facilities are also being addressed, he said.

Minister Pickersgill, in the meantime, cited a return to rainwater harvesting as one measure being explored to augment existing water supplies.

“This is one of the methods by which we will ensure our water security in the face of growing climate change impacts,” he said.

He reiterated that clean water is critical to all sectors of the economy and is a key component for sustainable development.

“Our water agencies continue to work hard to provide access to potable water for all Jamaicans by the year 2030. We will never give up our efforts in the pursuit of this goal, as well as in achieving the Vision 2030 goal of making ‘Jamaica, the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business’,” Mr. Pickersgill said.