JIS News

The National Water Commission (NWC) is undertaking a number of rehabilitation projects aimed at improving the island’s water supply system.
Speaking with JIS News, Corporate Communications Manager at NWC, Charles Buchanan, informed that the improvement projects are part of the NWC’s three-year Modernization Action Plan.
The plan, he said, includes undertaking a number of specific measures to ensure that the organization records marked improvement in the level of service delivered across the country.
According to Mr. Buchanan, NWC is developing what is called a ‘ring-main’ to improve the distribution of water around the island. The ring-main is said to be a large diameter of pipelines called trunk-mains or distribution mains, which are interconnected and tied to a number of large water treatment facilities around the island.
“This ring-main enables NWC not only to provide a significant improvement in the level of service that we will deliver to customers in areas where the ring-main will run,” he explained, but will also “enable the NWC to pull water from this ring-main into some inland areas that are in significant need of water supply improvement.”
As part of the initiative, the NWC, in the last two years, completed the North Western Parishes Water Supply Improvement Project or Martha Brae Water Supply Project. “The project made significant expansion to the Martha Brae treatment plant. The plant now treats some six million gallons of water per day from the facility,” Mr. Buchannan noted.
As a result of the project, water from Martha Brae can now be delivered to the Montego Bay terminal reservoir and along the coastal strip in Trelawny all the way from Falmouth to Duncans (Braco), at the same time.
According to Mr. Buchanan, ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 would not have been possible without improvements in water supply, which allowed the NWC to provide sufficient volumes of water needed for the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium.
The Martha Brae project, he said, has received approval from Parliament for extension to Runaway Bay in St. Ann.
Meanwhile, in the Kingston Metropolitan Area, major projects are also underway. “We see where there is a significant need for increased volumes of water in St. Catherine, particularly in Spanish Town and the Southeast Portmore communities. These areas are also being undertaken by NWC,” Mr. Buchanan told JIS News.
The NWC has already started the first phase of the contract to construct and pursue major rehabilitation work on some 19 wells in St. Catherine and to lay 20 kilometers of new pipelines. Mr. Buchanan affirmed that at the end of the project there will be vast improvements in the delivery of water supply to Kingston as well as the greater St. Catherine and Spanish Town areas.
Additionally, the NWC has completed water supply projects in the western parts of the island, such as the Great River Water Supply Improvement Project, which has improved the treatment capacity of the Great River Treatment Plant at the Hanover/St. James border.
Mr. Buchanan explained that the system went from treating 10 million gallons of water per day to 15 million gallons.
“Another project is the pipeline that runs along the coastal roadway from the Great River Treatment Plant to Hopewell, Sandy Bay then to Lucea and Negril’s plant,” he further noted.
Mr. Buchanan pointed out that while there will be some unavoidable inconveniences in carrying out the projects, the NWC will be working to keep these at a minimum and will be informing customers in advance as well as putting in place arrangements to alleviate any negative impacts.

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