CHARLESTOWN, Nevis — The Nevis Water Department (NWD) will undergo changes in its operations throughout 2021, in an effort to improve on deficient areas which were brought to the fore by the COVID-19 pandemic.
NWD Manager, Ms. Tonya Bartlette, made the disclosure while delivering remarks at a retreat for staff recently, at the Nevis Performing Arts Centre.
“In 2021, there will be a few rollouts, the launching our E-payment portal where customers can pay bills online and a NWD website,” said Ms. Bartlette. “These initiatives are long overdue, we are almost there.
“We will also launch updated e-billing software in an effort to conserve paper,” she said. “This will save paper, reduce costs and decrease our carbon footprint.
“We will also make structural changes to the reporting lines,” said Ms. Bartlette. “The Nevis Water Department is a small business. It should have an organizational structure that reflects better serving internal and external customers.”
NWD will also focus on documenting its Standard Operating Procedures in the entire department. Ms. Bartlette said work to improve operations is ongoing with minor adjustments made to ensure efficiency.
She said date collection will come under sharp focus, since the world is now data-driven.
“This is the direction NWD is heading,” said Ms. Bartlette. “Decisions must be made based on data as this will avoid making blind or uninformed decisions.
“Information collected will drive us to make decisions, not because we want to do something, but because we should take steps to enhance our product,” she said. “Data will serve as a means for future generations to continue to build the Nevis we love on the solid foundation that we have laid.”
Ms. Bartlette said NWD will also continue to collaborate with other departments and organisations.
“At present, we are collaborating with the Nevis Fire Department in mapping out island-wide fire hydrant locations to improve our fire-hydrant network.
“We are collaborating with the Geographical Information Unit, Public Works Department, and the Information Technology Department with other mapping projects. This will enable us to produce maps of our system to enhance our planning capabilities,” she said.
Ms. Bartlette underscored the need for staff training. She explained NWD is making provisions to provide online staff training.
“The Caribbean Water and Sewage Association, is hosting a full year of training sessions, which cover the entire department,” said Ms. Bartlette. “These will be delivered virtually as COVUD-19 has restricted travel and interactive face-to-face learning.
“With this in mind and in an effort to have this knowledge-sharing experience, a conference/training room will be established to accommodate all NWD staff,” concluded Ms. Bartlette. “Team members will be notified of the designated dates and times for this training.”