Climate change adaptation and mitigation will be among key areas in focus over the next 15 to 20 years, as the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) executes projects to support national development.
In fact, Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick, indicated that the BWA???s management of waste water, sewage and septic systems, will be among a number of projects expected to play a critical role in the island???s national development going forward.
He was at the time addressing the official handover of the mains programme under the BWA/Ionics Freshwater Limited Project at the Birdies on the Green, Rockley Golf Club, on Wednesday.
???When we look at significant droughts and the potential risk of flooding, it is important that we appreciate that what we are doing now in regards to dealing with non-revenue water ??? getting rid of the old leaking mains, installing new mains and so on in a more modern way with more modern materials ??? are all part of the mitigation exercise,??? he said.
The $30 million BWA/Ionics Freshwater Limited project, which started in June 2014, came in between $3 and $4 million under budget and on time, and was designed to build three pipelines totalling 19.2 km within a one-year period.
During the project, pipes were laid from the Belle Pumping Station to the J.T.C. Ramsay Roundabout; from the reservoir at Fort George to the Searles roundabout; and from the Brittons Hill Reservoir to the Providence Reservoir. A small booster station was also incorporated in the vicinity of the Graeme Hall Agricultural facility.
In addition, Dr. Estwick stated that in another four to six weeks, the Christ Church Water Augmentation Project would be heading to completion, resulting in 3.5 gallons of water a day being pumped to residents of St. Philip and Christ Church.
Furthermore, the Inter-American Development Bank???s Sanitations Upgrade project was also ongoing, while the phase one feasibility study of the West Coast Sewage Treatment project was now in hand.
???We have funding from the Industrial Commercial Bank of China, so that project that is integral to our development in regard to maintaining our coastal marine environment???should be able to start in Barbados in a short period of time once I get those final agreements worked out,??? the Minister indicated.
The fifth project being executed by the BWA is the construction of its new headquarters, which the Minister disclosed should be ready by September as they were now installing furniture.
Meanwhile, Director of Williams Industries, David Staples, described the mains programme as a good example of how a public/private sector partnership should operate.
???The public sector has the vision and plans for a secure and robust water system, but the private sector takes the technical, commercial and financial risk and is rewarded if they succeed, and punished if they fail,??? he said.??He also commended the BWA workers who received a production bonus for expediting the pipe installations.