The Barbados Water Authority (BWA) will be embarking on several diverse water and wastewater projects within the next five years.

This was disclosed by Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick, as he addressed the opening ceremony of the 22nd annual conference and exhibition of the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association, yesterday evening at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Dr. Estwick outlined a number of projects which, he said, would be very beneficial to the island, including the construction of new headquarters, which will merge most of the functional areas of the BWA into one location. He noted that plans were also in place to modernise and reorganise the BWA so the organisation could be regulated by the Fair Trading Commission.

???It is noted that currently Jamaica is the only country in the English???speaking Caribbean that has full segregation of functions in the water sector in general, and specifically the regulation of water supply and related sanitation services by an independent economic regulator,??? he added.

The Water Resource Management Minister also highlighted a water quality improvement project, where upgrades will be made to water treatment equipment, and a reverse osmosis facility which will be constructed at the Belle pumping station.

He disclosed that the BWA also proposes to embark on another project which will involve the implementation of non???revenue water reduction activities. This will be carried out, he added, by replacing over 100,000 residential and commercial meters, along with replacing meters at pumping stations across the island. There are also plans to repair and construct water storage facilities.

Plans are also in the works to reduce the Ministry???s energy bill by setting up wind and photovoltaic generator systems as well as installing other energy efficient pumps. He stated that upgrades will also be carried out at two of the BWA???s sewage treatment plants which service the Bridgetown and South Cost areas.

The conference, under the theme, Water and Waste Management in the Caribbean: Cooperation for Action, will see 300 local and international participants discussing issues and challenges in the water and sanitation sector. It continues today at the Hilton Barbados Hotel and concludes on Friday.

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