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NWC inks deal to curtail non-revenue water losses

Published:Sunday | July 19, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Miya, a wholly owned subsidiary of Israeli company Arison Investments, has signed a $42.5 million contract with the National Water Commission (NWC) under a programme to reduce system loss of water in the Kingston and St Andrew area.

The project is fully funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and includes performance-based fees, which will be paid "only if contract targets are achieved". Miya said in a release.

The project aims to curtail 'non-revenue water' (NRW) and includes strategic and financial planning based on efficiency audits of NRW.

"This will be followed by a water-infrastructure improvement phase devised specifically for the area, including the monitoring of water pressure, locating leaks, repairing or replacing selective pipes, and ultimately - after five years - handing over responsibility to NWC staff," Miya said.

Local government sources said the project is intended that to reduce water losses or non-revenue water from around 54 per cent to around 37 per cent within two years and to 30 per cent in three years and 20 per cent by the end of the project.

By project end, it is anticipated that the NWC will realise an economic benefit of $29.2 billion.

The release from Miya said daily savings of more than 70 million litres of fresh water are expected within five years, enough to supply water to additional 500,000 people.

Bahamas 10-year project

The Israeli company is already active in the Caribbean. The company is currently running a 10-year project in The Bahamas started in 2012. Miya said it returned the Bahamian water system to its continuous supply within two years, and cut NRW by more than half which "culminates in savings of 16 million litres every day, enabling water production to be reduced by almost 20 per cent."

As to its local presence, Miya said it is planning to involve the local Jamaican community in water-conservation education programmes, equipping people with tools such as a new smartphone application that improves the connection between citizens and the water authority.

Parent company Arison Investments says on its website that it has a diversified portfolio estimated at over US$2.5 billion of investments in finance, real estate, infrastructure, renewable energy, water, and salt in more than 40 countries across five continents.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com