Friday 6 December, 2019

New sources of water must be found

BWA Chairman Dr Atlee Brathwaite (right) with President of the COB, Henderson Williams, at the launch of the BWA Personal Tank Programme.

BWA Chairman Dr Atlee Brathwaite (right) with President of the COB, Henderson Williams, at the launch of the BWA Personal Tank Programme.

The total loss in production from a 30 percent reduction in the water tables at Bowmanston, 50 percent at Sweet Vale 1 and 50 percent at Sweet Vale amounted to one million gallons per day, down from a normal production figure of two and a half million gallons per day.

Reflecting on the drought experienced by Barbados the last two years, Chairman of the Barbados Water Authority, Dr Atlee Brathwaite, said the rainy season normally starts in June and by August replenishment of the groundwater starts, with the majority of it occurring between September and November. But he noted that this was not the case in the last two years and low rainfall in August contributed to falling water tables and reduced production.

“Changes in the availability, distribution, timing and reliability of rainfall and the reduced water resources resulting from it impacted on all water-using sectors including household, agriculture and industry. Indeed, these impacts in turn affected the broader dynamics of our economy as well as environmental and social needs," Mr. Brathwaite outlined.

Apart from the Personal Tank Programme (PTP) launched Friday, Brathwaite said in addressing the water shortage  issue, the BWA has had to do nightly shutoffs to try and get more water into Golden Ridge Reservoir to allow for pumping to Castle Grant Reservoir which feeds most of the higher areas of St. Joseph, St. Andrew and St. Thomas.

He said there was also an intensification of leak detection and repairs within the Golden Ridge/Castle Grant networks and efforts to improve burst main repairs response ties.

With Barbados being a water scarce country, the chairman says, "The Government of Barbados is committed to ensuring that this country's development is not stalled because of an inadequate water supply."

He stressed that Barbados cannot only rely on rainfall for potable water and so new sources of water have to be found.

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