VIDEO: Minister talks water, water woes, water mains, BWA
Minister of Water Resources Wilfred Abrahams
Minister of Water Resources Wilfred Abrahams is giving the assurance that everything is being done to fix the country's water woes.
This promise comes as government, more specifically the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) struggles to ensure a stable water supply for the country in the face of an aged delivery system.
Abrahams explained to Loop News recently that with a number of the BWA’s mains being in excess of 150 years, their work is challenging.
Compounding the situation further has been the fact that no plans, maps or diagrams exist to show where many of these old mains run.
“Sometimes, you find out where a main runs when it bursts. It is a whole host of issues the Barbados Water Authority is dealing with. The reality is to get the water problems in Barbados fixed . . . . the ideal situation will be to fix all the mains in Barbados but the cost that we have with replacements and mains is about $1 million per kilometer.
“That [does not] sound like a lot but when you consider how many mains we have in Barbados as well; we have over two and a half thousand kilometers of mains. If we are to replace all of [these] mains, we are looking at in excess of $2.5 billion. =The amount is staggering but it is a problem that is real and has to be fixed,” Abrahams explained, while adding that this must, however, be done in a structured way; by prioritizing the mains' replacement, doing it in with other utilities to cut down on costs.
In a wide-ranging interview with Loop News, the minister also sought to clear the air on the recent rift in the industrial climate at the BWA, between the state-run entity’s Board and its staff, the situation facing residents of St Joseph and other northern parishes.