The Barbados Water Authority (BWA) has given the assurance that every effort would be taken to minimize disruptions during the Christmas holiday.
Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Wilfred Abrahams, gave the assurance, while speaking during a press briefing to highlight the agreements and benefits from a negotiated deal between BWA and the Innotech Group of Companies, which was spearheaded by Chairman, Leodean Worrell.
The Minister thanked Mrs. Worrell and the Board, Government’s debt advisors, White Oaks and BWA staff for their tireless efforts during the negotiations, which wrapped up on December 12.
Minister Abrahams, in response to a question on the supply of water during the Christmas holiday, stated: “I can’t assure people that you’re not going to have any dry taps during the season, what I can assure you is that where the dry taps do occur, we will be putting 100 per cent of our efforts towards minimizing disruptions to people over the period.”
He added that the packaged desalination plant at Hope Plantation, St. Lucy, was back online, and as a result, the Authority would not have to use water trucks to service St. Lucy.
“There is a commitment to refill the community tanks every single day during the season, so if the worst happens at least there should be water somewhere near you that you can pull from. That’s the commitment that I can give you; I can’t give you any assurance pass that,” Minister Abrahams said.
Stating that he was pleased that the Hope plant was back online before the parish of St. Lucy started its month of We Gatherin’ activities, Minister Abrahams said the Authority had worked feverishly to get the plant back online, and thanked the staff as well as Ionics Freshwater Ltd., pointing out that the issue at the plant was something that normally would have taken significantly longer to resolve.
BWA’s General Manager, Keithroy Halliday, pointed out that there were some key central differences from the way the Authority had been distributing water this year compared to last year.
Mr. Halliday explained “that with the expansion of Ionics we were able to push an additional three million [gallons] into the distribution system that feeds to Shop Hill, Lancaster, Apes Hill and gets into the Castle Grant area in St. Joseph.
“So, whatever happens, we know that we have additional water being supplied into the St. Joseph area. The challenges that we have are aged-old which is that we may have burst mains, and that is what typically creates outages for us now.”
BWA’s Director of Engineering, Charles Leslie, also gave an update on the Hampton pumping station, stating that between December 4 and 11, technicians out of Panama were able to repair nine out of the 10 Variable Frequency Drives and four pumps damaged during the power outages in November.
He also noted as a result of the repairs that Hampton pumping station was almost back to full capacity.