New Water Tariff Rates Take Effect On Nevis

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Charlestown, Nevis – New water tariff rates took effect on Nevis on March 01, 2024, and consumers are being urged to conserve as much of the scarce resource as possible.

Minister Responsible for Water Services the Honourable Spencer Brand previously announced the increases during the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) Budget Debate in December 2023.

According to the Minister, the adjustment is intended to improve the water quality and the service theWater Department provides to consumers. He also noted the rapidly increasing costs associated with providing potable water to homes, businesses, farms and other consumers.

During a recent interview he disclosed that, “We have seen significant increases in our water pumps, in our pipes, in our couplings, even in wages to our workers in the Water Department.”

“Over the past few years we have seen increases …installed a new water tank at Hamilton and restored the old stone storage tank at Hamilton…We installed a water filtration system in Hamilton; we installed a new water tank at Pondhill; and we changed a number of pumps throughout the island. All of those were at a significant cost. It now brings us to a point where we have two things confronting us, we have to put additional water in the system and we have at least two additional water tanks to construct- one in Morning Star and we are also looking at one in the St. James area.”

The price of water meters has increased from just over US $40 to more than US $100 per unit. In addition to the rising costs a booming construction sector means increased demand on the water system, which is already being adversely impacted by reduced rainfall.

As of March 01 domestic consumers using less than 2000 gallons will pay $13 per 1000 gallons, more than 2000 gallons will attract a rate of $20 per 1000 gallons.

Hotels, industrial, and commercial entities will pay a rate of $35 per 1000 gallons for up to 20,000 gallons, and $45 above that threshold.

Consumers of non-potable water for irrigation will pay $28 per 1000 gallons

There is no charge for seniors using less than 3000 gallons, however seniors using more than 3000 gallons would incur a rate of $20 per 1000 gallons.

Minister Brand disclosed two new fines the Water Department is imposing on persons who tamper with or damage water meters and other property of the Department.

“We have seen that over the years there have been a lot of illegal connections and tampering with our water systems. Persons have gone and gotten whatever fittings they can and made connections to our water system and have derived water from the island of Nevis without paying for that water.

“We are appealing to members of the public to cease and desist from this practice. We will be imposing a fine of $1500 on anyone found making any illegal connection or tampering with any connection to our water system.”

He continued, “We have also seen some damage to our water meters where persons are making sure they are not billed for water. I want to appeal to the public again- please do not tamper with our water meters.”

Premier of Nevis the Honourable Mark Brantley addressed the issue of non-payment of water bills against the backdrop of the increasing cost to provide water to consumers. He appealed to

persons to pay their bills on time and in full, or in the event they are unable to do so, to visit the Water Department and set up a payment plan to avoid disconnection. The Premier reiterated his call for persons to conserver as much water as possible and to eliminate water wastage.

The NIA is set to embark on a water drilling project to develop three new wells to bring additional water into the distribution system. This will come at an estimated cost of $5 million.

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