by Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Royal Utilities will be pumping water into the public distribution network over the next few months to assist the Government of St.Kitts and Nevis in providing the well needed commodity to the community.
The Minister of Utilities Hon Konris Maynard during a video presentation on Friday, December 23, updated the general public on the short-term strategy that has been negotiated to address the water crisis in St.Kitts.
“Today is a very important day in our history as we work out our water strategy in the short term. I mentioned in my Budget presentation and in my video recently that we were engaging with Royal Utilities to come to an agreement of sharing the excess or providing excess desalinated water from their plant that usually supplies St.Kitts Marriott Hotel. I am pleased to announce that the Government and Royal Utilities have formalized that agreement. Yesterday, (December 22nd) we started testing it out and pumped the excess desalinated water into our water system right here in Frigate Bay.”
Maynard said the process can take a few months to totally come together; but once successful over the period, then the desalinated water that is pumped into the Frigate Bay water source can then be diverted to the surrounding areas. The Minister is hopeful that the impact will be felt in the affected communities within a few weeks.
A decrease in rainfall has contributed to the ongoing water issues on the island; compounded by a growing population, increased households and a need for more water sources. As such, water availability is much less than demand.
Maynard explained “In fact, we need about 1.5 million gallons of water per day to meet our demand. We are going to be getting about 150,000 to about 300,000 gallons when all is said and done, from Royal Utilities. So, you see, that is only a small percentage of what we eventually need.”
The Minister of Utilities said the water being supplied by Royal Utilities is not a total solution to the water issues; it is, however, a strategy to provide some level of relief to consumers. The Minister encouraged residents to embrace the practice of water conservation.
I want to stress something. Although we are doing this and this is just a small drop in the bucket of what we need to do, the key right now is conservation, conversation, conversation, conservation. We simply don’t have enough water to have 24 hour service yet.”
The Government in collaboration with the Water Services Department is seeking to reduce or eliminate the water deficit presently being experienced by drilling wells and also erecting a desalination plant in 2023.