The Government of Barbados through the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) has entered into an agreement with the Canadian Commercial Corporation for a new Smart Meter Project.
Chairman of the Barbados Water Authority, Dr. Atlee Braithwaite, and Regional Director of Business Development for Central America and the Caribbean at the Canadian Commercial Corporation, Luc Allary, signed the contract this morning at the High Commission of Canada.
The project, which is estimated to cost US$58 million, will see about 100,000 smart meters being implemented across the island.
Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick, believes that the meters will help the BWA to save money and to have a better way to monitor customer???s consumption water patterns.
Dr. Estwick said the BWA had been struggling with issues, which resulted in revenue loss and pointed out that previous conditions caused water meters to become damaged or bad after five to seven years, which resulted in the BWA losing a significant amount of pumped water.
???You can imagine the Barbados Water Authority struggling, losing about 40 per cent of the water it pumps down into the ground and at the same time about 20 thousand meters not working ??? Therefore, it became important that we look for a solution with the highest technology that would give us the type of metering systems that would be highly efficient,??? he pointed out.
The Water Resources Minister explained that the new smart meter project would also allow the BWA to monitor consumption patterns more easily.
???Persons who suffered in the past from having a bill that is $30 this month and then next month it is $3000, some sort of erratic billing arrangements, those will become things of the past with this new smart meter capability,??? Dr. Estwick stated.
Adding that the Barbados Water Authority???s reading capacity systems would be improved, he said: ???The fact that the meter has no moving parts and it essentially sends out a radio signal, will enhance not only the reading capacity of systems within the Barbados Water Authority, because coming along with this particular project, we will be putting in a number of internal upgrades, which would be a new customer information system, a new financial management system, as well as a work management system.???
Dr. Estwick also spoke about the long standing relationship between the Governments of Barbados and Canada, in the areas of trade and business, and said his Government had agreed to build on this, by strengthening the relationship in the area of business development and cooperation.
He revealed that Cabinet had given approval for the Ministry to further engage the Canadian Government in several projects over the next few years, including the construction of a reverse osmosis plant and the implementation of a West Coast Sewage Project for Water and Waste Water Management.
Canada???s High Commissioner to Barbados, Richard Hanley, said that a lot of work had gone into finalising an agreement for the Smart Meter Project. He stated that the Government of Canada was happy to be working with the Barbadian Government on this project, which he believes will significantly benefit the people of Barbados.