JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the National Water Commission (NWC) will be relaxing water restrictions, following the increase in capacity at the Mona Reservoir and Hermitage Dam in St. Andrew.
  • The recent period of heavy rainfall has raised water levels at Mona and Hermitage to 54 per cent and 72 per cent, respectively.
  • Mr. Holness said the easing of restrictions will be good news to Jamaicans, but urged members of the public to continue to practise conservation methods.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the National Water Commission (NWC) will be relaxing water restrictions, following the increase in capacity at the Mona Reservoir and Hermitage Dam in St. Andrew.

The recent period of heavy rainfall has raised water levels at Mona and Hermitage to 54 per cent and 72 per cent, respectively.

Mr. Holness said the easing of restrictions will be good news to Jamaicans, but urged members of the public to continue to practise conservation methods.

“We are still very cautious. So we are not going to totally abandon all our conservation methods but we will relax so that people can get water now,” he said.

“Of course, there is the issue of turbidity, but the NWC will be able to address those through their treatment processes to ensure that customers can get water up to potable standards,” he added.

Prime Minister Holness was addressing the House of Representatives on Tuesday (October 1).

He noted that since the beginning of 2019, sections of Jamaica have had varying levels of dryness, with St. Ann, St. Mary, Portland, St. Elizabeth, St. Thomas and St. Catherine experiencing drought conditions.

He pointed out that most of the rainfall has occurred in the western parishes, particularly Hanover, Westmoreland and Trelawny, representing a shift from the traditional high rainfall parishes of Portland and St. Mary.

“These trends posed significant challenges to the availability of water for distribution within the Corporate Area, as most of the catchment areas for the Hermitage Reservoir and Mona Dam were affected directly by the dry conditions,” Mr. Holness said.

The Prime Minister noted, however, that Portland experienced an appreciable increase in rainfall during August, thus improving accumulation figures and starting the recovery for many other parishes.

“September saw a further increase in rainfall as the island approached the primary peak in the rainfall pattern for the country, which occurs in October,” he noted.

He said the island should continue to see increases in rainfall amounts for October.