Water Minister Calls on Jamaicans to Conserve


As drought conditions worsen across the island, Minister of Water and Housing, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang is asking users of water, including developers and members of the public, to conserve water, pay their bills, and protect the infrastructure put in place to deliver the liquid to the population.
“We are asking members of the public to conserve water as much as they can and to protect the infrastructure out there. There is no point in damaging the water infrastructure as this is expensive and time consuming to replace. We also need developers to pay their off-site infrastructure development fees, which many of them seem to find as an unnecessary burden,” the Minister said.
Dr. Chang was speaking in an interview with JIS News today (August 4), following a meeting with representatives of the National Water Commission (NWC), Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), the Meteorological Office and the Water Resources Authority (WRA), to discuss the current drought and its impact on the water supply, at the offices of the Ministry on Dominica Drive, in New Kingston.
The Minister pointed out that the fees are used to help develop water systems to assist the NWC mitigate the problems of the next drought.
Commenting on the drought, President of the NWC, E.G. Hunter, concurred with the Minister, and called for “significant conservation.”
“The drought is an objective reality. The rainfall pattern has been such that we have not had any substantial rainfall in the major catchment areas since November of last year. The usual rainfall in April/May did not occur. Based on the most recent predictions, it does not look likely that we are going to get any rains until October. So the response that one expects must be significant conservation,” Mr. Hunter said.
“We are rationing water. The standard operating procedure from now on is that there will be low water pressure and water lock-offs, simply because there is just not enough water coming from the rivers into the Hermitage dam. Without sufficient replenishment of the water in the Hermitage dam, there is no option but to ration,” he said.

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