Minister with responsibility for Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick (in cab), prepares to break ground for the new BWA headquarters. Looking on are BWA Chairman, Dr. Atlee Brathwaite (second from left, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, NULL, NULL, 0); Chairman of Innotech Services, Anthony DaSilva; an employee of Innotech and General Manager of the BWA, Denis Yearwood. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Barbados Water Authority (BWA) officials are concerned about the wastage of what they term non-revenue water.

Non-revenue water can be described as water that the BWA pumps from its wells but from which it gets no revenue.

It comprises leaking water mains, leaks at customer service pipes before the meter, water that is used to fight fires and wash down city streets, free water distributed at standpipes, under registering water meters and, in some instances, illegal connections.

Minister with responsibility for Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick, stressed that with the island designated as water scarce, it could ill afford to waste such a valuable commodity.

He was speaking yesterday during the groundbreaking ceremony for the new state-of-the-art Barbados Water Authority headquarters at the Pine, St. Michael.

As part of efforts to rectify this issue, the Water Resources Minister said the BWA would embark on an island-wide mains rehabilitation and replacement programme aimed at repairing and/or replacing all of the leaking mains.

"It will also, very shortly, be embarking on an islandwide meter replacement programme which will see over 104,000 domestic and commercial meters on properties replaced within a three-year period…These projects will go a long way in reducing significantly the high and unsustainable levels of non-revenue water," Dr. Estwick said.

According to the Minister, the BWA presently pays some $32 million annually for electricity and if non-revenue water were to be cut by 50 per cent, then some $16 million per year in revenue could be generated by the Barbados Water Authority.

Non-revenue water has been estimated at approximately 50 per cent of total water distributed. The total cost to water utilities caused by non-revenue water worldwide is estimated, conservatively, at US $14 billion per year, with a third of it occurring in developing countries.


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