Water prohibition order in effect as of Thursday, July 9

Water prohibition order in effect as of Thursday, July 9

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The National Water Commission (NWC) says it has implemented a prohibition order targeted to prevent the wastage or excessive use of potable water for non-essential purposes as part of its drought management strategy.  

The measure will take effect on Thursday, July 9.

Consequently, NWC said it is now a prosecutable offence to either waste water or to use excessive amounts of the commodity for non-essential purposes. It said these measures are in keeping with powers under the law and regulations relating to the operations of the NWC.

The commission said this has become necessary, as the levels at both the dam and reservoir are critically low, due to the prolonged dry spell affecting the country over the past several months. 

The Mona Reservoir, it said, is currently at 50.8 per cent of its capacity, or 411.2 million gallons. The Hermitage Dam, meanwhile, is at a mere 33.95 per cent of its capacity, or 133.6 million gallons.

The company said it is therefore crucial that water be reserved for essential uses such as drinking, cooking, washing, bathing and sanitation.

In a prohibition notice published in the newspapers on Saturday, July 4 and Sunday, July 5, 2020, the NWC stated that customers must adhere to more stringent water conservation measures to ensure that there will be enough water to sustain demand during the dry period.  

Among the offences that are punishable by a fine imposed by the parish courts upon conviction or, upon failure to pay the fine, imprisonment for up to 30 days are:

  • Watering of gardens, lawns, grounds and farms;
  • Refilling of tanks, ponds, or swimming pools and/or for use other than normal domestic services;
  • Washing of vehicles by the use of a hose;
  • Watering or washing roadways, pavements, paths, garages; and
  • Any purpose which may require the use of a considerable or excessive quantity of water.

The commission said this is specific to the use of water supplied by the company in drought-affected areas and also applies to those who cause or give permission to others to break the law.

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