Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, has informed that about 70 per cent of the island has piped water, and the aim is to bring the total up to 85 per cent.
The Minister said that many Jamaicans tend to take water for granted, but pointed out that it costs a lot of money to store and distribute the commodity.
Mr. Pickersgill was speaking after a tour of the Water Resources Authority (WRA) in Kingston, on January 18.
The tour was led by the Managing Director of the WRA, Basil Fernandez, who gave a detailed outline of the work of the Authority, and the role it plays in assisting to provide potable water to Jamaicans across the island.
The Minister argued that when the rain falls, it’s the cheapest utility, but once you start to store and distribute it, then the costs begin to escalate, so Jamaicans should not take it for granted.
"When somebody turns a tap and gets water, he or she still has a feeling that it should be free. So, we still have to do some amount of public education to get that out of their minds,” Mr. Pickersgill said.
The Minister said the tour was informative. “It is clear that in terms of the WRA, the resources and what the country has, are in very capable hands,” the Minister said.
For his part, Mr. Fernandez informed that the Authority allocates water resources to everybody through permits and licences.
"Our role is to control that allocation to make sure we don’t have problems with salt water intrusion, pollution from industries and other things. We also support the National Water Commission in terms of domestic water,” Mr. Fernandez said.