Relief is on the way for residents on the island who have been affected by water shortages and outages over the past few months.

This assurance has come from Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick, who was speaking during a recent press conference at his Ministry???s headquarters at Graeme Hall, Christ Church.

Dr. Estwick reported that the Ministry and the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) had outlined several short, medium and long-term plans to help alleviate some of the issues affecting the island???s water supply.

He revealed that the BWA was in the process of obtaining tanks which would be placed in various communities across the island within the next week.?????We will deliver a series of community tanks into those catchment areas that are being serviced by a particular reservoir that is being compromised. The tanks will be placed at a particular location within that community and these tanks will be refilled by water tankers,??? he explained.

He said that water tankers would still be dispatched to those vulnerable individuals in society such as the elderly and the disabled, and that the BWA had ordered four new tankers to top up the community tanks and to assist residents in the traditional manner.

Dr. Estwick stated that the Ministry of Agriculture and the BWA were in the process of meeting with Town and Country Development Planning Office and the Environmental Protection Department to decide where the tanks should be placed. He added that measures would also be put in place to properly secure the tanks.

The Agriculture Minister also revealed that the BWA had identified additional wells that were not now tapped optimally, to bring water into the distribution system more rapidly. He said he believed that this immediate to short-term response could come into effect within the next four to six weeks.

In addition, Dr. Estwick identified leaking and old water mains as another hindrance to the water supply, and stated that a long-term solution to this issue was presently being undertaken through the BWA???s mains replacement programme. The Agricultural Minister explained that another issue currently being faced by the BWA was that of climate change.

???The challenge is where we would normally have an output of approximately 2.5 million gallons of water a day from various reservoirs, now sometimes we are getting as low as 1.2 to 1.5 million gallons per day. So it further hinders the supply of water to places like St. John, St. Joseph, St. Andrew and St. Thomas,??? he explained.

Dr. Estwick also thanked Barbadians for their understanding during the water challenges affecting the island.

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