JIS News

Managing Director of the Water Resources Authority (WRA), Basil Fernandez, has informed JIS News that a revised Water Resources Master Plan is expected to be tabled in Parliament in November.
“The Master Plan, which was published in 1990, is now being upgraded with funding from the Government and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), with the government contributing US$26,000 in cash and kind,” he pointed out. The total cost to produce the plan is US$271,000.
Former Minister with responsibility for water, Donald Buchanan, had announced in December 2005 that the completed plan would have been tabled in April, but Mr. Fernandez told JIS News that an extension was requested from the IDB to make amendments to the plan, as the Authority was not satisfied with the revisions that were initially made by the consultants, Grace Centre for Water Resources Management out of McGill University in Canada.He explained that new additions have since been made to the plan, which “is more comprehensive”.
“We have reviewed the plan in-house and have resubmitted it to the consultants. We have also written to the IDB requesting an extension up to October 31, 2006 and at this time we hope to have the completed master plan ready for presentation,” Mr. Fernandez said.
The plan is intended to, among other things, identify objectives for the development, conservation and use of water resources; describe and record the quantity and quality of current water resources; estimate projected water demands, all of which are to meet the Government’s target, as outlined in the development policy.
The Managing Director explained that new additions to the plan would include an inventory of resources and their relative demand, areas of deficit and surplus, a new allocation framework for water resources and a chapter on water resources management.
Meanwhile, Mr. Fernandez said the Authority would, between November 12 and 16, host a week of events to mark its 10th anniversary, during which the revised master plan is expected to be launched.