Sat | Nov 17, 2018

Water worries

Published:Monday | July 28, 2014 | 12:00 AM
The Mona Reservoir - Gladstone Taylor/Photographer


Now, I'm not that old, but even I'm surprised to see this. When the second tropical depression formed in the Caribbean last week, I actually heard a few people hoping it would come our way. That's because of the current dry spell we're going through. Mi neva know mi woulda live fi see Jamaican people depressed seh wi nuh get nuh tropical depression! Guess there's a first for everything!

The National Water Commission (NWC) reported that the Corporate Area has enough water to last until October. Whew! Right now, we're like a punter at Caymanas trying to urge his horse home (C'mon, October, move yuh foot!). At first, NWC said water would 'done' by mid-August. The recalculation came after work on the pipe network to ensure water can be shared from the least affected to worst affected areas. This should have been done years ago, but like many things in Jamaica, doom has to be on the horizon before we move.

Over the years, people have blocked roads (Jamaica's national pastime) to protest the lack of water in their various communities. This time, the major issue is that there hasn't been any rainfall (the only entity you would be crying to for 'justice' is way higher than any political representative). But we can't ignore that plans to improve water systems from successive governments have washed out. Had there been a superefficient islandwide system for relaying water, we wouldn't have people fretting to the extent some are right now. Water pressure going down, blood pressure going up!

Short of going into wide open spaces to do some rain dances, we simply have to wait for rain, hence why people did a pree di likkle tropical storm. Too bad weather systems are not like tourists. That way, we could call the Jamaica Tourist Board to mount some ad campaigns to attract some rainfall: 'Are you a tropical depression? Thinking of the eastern Caribbean? Forget them! Come to Jamaica mon!' (cue the Chronixx song Smile Jamaica). Right now, we'd pay a weather system to pass the Corporate Area for an hour or two. Of course, too much rainfall in certain areas, and we have flooding (also the cause of bad planning). That bridge will be crossed if we get to it.

Regardless of whether our water troubles ease in October (or before?), we've got to manage this resource better. Full stop! So, NWC, when people report say pipe burst, fix it same time, not three weeks later after the residents call every talk show! In fairness to JPS, as two wire pop dung, dem fix dem quick. My fear is, if in the next two years we go back to periods of nuff rain, we're going to forget about the grand plans for irrigating farms and rainwater harvesting. And then, when we have another big drought, we're back at square one.

Please, let's not wait until frighten tek wi again fi pickney shut fit we! More time.