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The National Water Commission (NWC) is to spend some $1 billion to upgrade its sewerage systems, beginning this fiscal year, Water and Housing Minister, Dr. Horace Chang, has announced.
Speaking in the 2009/10 Sectoral Debate in Parliament on Wednesday (July 1), Dr. Chang disclosed that the NWC plans to complete some 19 project this year, that will either expand the sewerage network or eliminate existing problems.
“It’s a side of the NWC’s operations which has not always received adequate attention or funding. But, the growing awareness of environmental risks is urging us to give it the attention it deserves. And the fact too is that, as an island, our water resources are limited, and we are already witnessing problems in some of our aquifers, especially in the Corporate Area,” he stated.
He pointed out that for at least one facility, the Harbour View treatment plant in St. Andrew, contractual arrangements for upgrading work are nearing completion.
Dr. Chang also advised that the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has indicated that funds generated from the five percent K-Factor application from the NWC, which they approved, can be used to finance capital rehabilitation undertaken by the entity.
He said that this should address inadequate sewerage infrastructure to meet, as far as possible, the environmental regulatory agencies’ requirements.
” The OUR has, in fact, been particularly helpful in providing guidance and support at this point in time, in terms of the development of the NWC,” he said.