More rain forecast, but no immediate change in Federation water rationing

Dennison Paul, Acting Manager of the Water Services Department

Staff Writer

Despite the recent spell of wet weather that swept across the Federation, the Water Services Department will not relent on its water rationing efforts, according to Acting Manager at the Department Dennison Paul.

He said the recent rainfall did not improve the situation that has affected the Federation for nine months with water levels running to critically low levels.

During that period the Department of Water instituted a rationing period which saw decreased amounts of water being provided to the various sections of St. Kitts.

Rationing affected a number of sectors in the Federation from tourism to agriculture.

Recently, Director of Agriculture Melvin James explained to The Observer that drought-like conditions still affecting the Federation severely affected the crop arm of the agriculture sector.

He told the Observer that last year’s food production dropped dramatically, down 300 tons due to the drought-like conditions and the rationing period.

During a recent interview, Paul explained the Water Department is considering the life-saving commodity on a 24-hour basis for the Music Festival period, but they will revert to the rationing when the event is completed.

“Sometime in June it might be possible to lift the rationing in some parts of the island,” Paul said. “There are areas that are not adversely affected like the…Sandy Point in the West all the way to Mansion in the east, are showing dramatic improvements.”

“I think we can lift rationing in a couple of months, but it is unlikely that rationing in Basseterre and most parts of the island will be lifted,” he noted.

This comes on the heels of comments made by Minister with Responsibility for Water, Ian Liburd, who told a recent sitting of the National Assembly there is hope in sight for the Federation in terms of its weather patterns.

“There is expected to be large amounts of rainfall in the coming months before a dry spell — followed by a normal weather pattern of rainfall,” Liburd disclosed.

Paul, like Minister Liburd, gave the same information on the water pattern, but noted, “it is expected to improve in the latter portion of the third and early fourth quarter.”

Currently, water is being rationed between 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on a daily basis, Paul said.

However, some areas have seen water services reduced during the busy periods of the day on weekdays and weekends.

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