By John Denny
(Charlestown, Nevis) – It looks as though Nevis water customers are in for a surprise: Water will flow from our taps on a more regular basis, thanks to the work of the Nevis Water Department and Bedrock Exploration and Development Technologies.
The new Maddens well is up and running although there is still testing to be done. Another well at Fothergills in the Gingerland area has been drilled and is under development, according to Minister of Public Works Hon. Carlisle Powell.
“The well at Maddens will be supplying water to the north side of the island and around to about the Four Seasons area,” said Minister Powell. “It won’t be making that much of a difference for the Charlestown area.”
Ramsbury and Hamilton have been trouble spots for the water department. Water service frequently is interrupted there due to deficiencies in the infrastructure.
“We have the drilling at Fothergills finished,” the minister said. “We are in the process of running electricity to the site and getting equipment up there. When that well comes on line, hopefully, we will see a big improvement to service on the south end of Nevis.”
The new Maddens well is producing high quality water which is typical of other wells in the madden area. Not so with water coming from the Padlock, Zion and Hickmans wells. It is predicted the water from the Fothergills well will be of a much higher quality according to Water Development Engineer Brian Kennedy at NWD
The next step will be pump testing for the well at Fothergills and indications are that the quantity will equal the Maddens well.
“You can’t be 100 percent sure until you do a pump test so that’s going to be arranged in the coming days. The electricity department is putting the electricity up to the site and then the pump test will be carried out,” he said. “I think we already know the quality will be good but as far as the quantity is concerned we will have the answers next week.”
NWD’s capacity to service consumers in the future is looking up. Mr. Kennedy noted that the prospects looked good and at present the demand for water was 1.5million gallons of water per day
According to the NWD, the impact of the well at Maddens is that the available water goes up from 1.4 million gallons per day to 2 million gallons per day. If the next well at Fothergills is equally good, then the available water will be approximately 2.5 million gallons per day which means that the contract to get an additional million gallons of water per day will be fulfilled.
“The current demand for water on Nevis is about 1.5 million gallons per day and we are not able to meet that at all time. If the demand dips below that sometimes we are able to meet the demand if it goes up to that then we can’t meet the demand,” he said.
Water explorations for additional water on Nevis commenced in late October 2007 on the first drill site in Hamilton Estate. Prior to drilling, ground water drilling explorations were carried out through out the island which included mapping through the use of satellite imagery, underground surveys and geophysical surveys to identify the target drill sites.
Under the Bedrock Exploration and Development Technologies contract with the Nevis Island Administration, the company was expected to develop one million gallons of ground water per day to compliment the current supply now available to the island.
The weather plays an important part in the amount of available water on Nevis, according to Minister Powell.
“How much rain we get play a huge role in the availability of water on the island,” said the Minister. “Fifteen percent of our water right now comes from the spring at Nevis Peak. Since demand has been so high, that 15 percent makes a big difference. Once we get into the rainy season, some of the pressure will be off the system, but by then we might have enough from the wells that are being developed that it won’t be as important to have rain.”