NWC implementing measures to alleviate drought conditions
KINGSTON, Jamaica - Several measures are being implemented by the National Water Commission (NWC) to alleviate drought conditions, which are projected to impact the island over the next three months.
Details were outlined by Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Minister, Robert Pickersgill, during Wednesday’s (January 9) signing of contracts for implementation of the NWC’s $745 million Sector F Sewerage Systems Rehabilitation Project at the ministry’s New Kingston office.
The measures include: accessing additional sources of water for treatment and distribution; maximising existing sources of supply; reducing losses from systems and improving the distribution network; improving the capacity to share water from least-affected systems with worst-affected systems; expediting water supply improvement projects that could possibly assist in drought mitigation; increasing trucking capacity with priority to be given to hospitals, health centres, schools, public institutions, and communities, which are severely affected for prolonged periods; and encouraging conservation.
Pointing out that Jamaica is currently in the “throes” of the traditional dry season, which usually runs from December to April, Pickersgill said the NWC has advised that several sections of the island began feeling the effects from as early as November 2012.
Pickersgill mentioned advisories from the Meteorological Service and Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), which indicate less than favourable rainfall projections over the next three months, with Jamaica facing the threat of a “drier than normal” dry season.
“We are, therefore, urging all NWC customers and, indeed, every Jamaican to conserve on their use of water, and to put in place appropriate storage mechanisms throughout this difficult period. The NWC is giving its full commitment to make every effort to maintain its service in the best way possible, notwithstanding whatever conditions may develop,” Pickersgill said.