Tue | Sep 19, 2017

TEF money could solve Negril’s water woes

Published:Monday | April 10, 2017 | 4:00 AM

Regional water supply and distribution manager at the National Water Commission (NWC) Dr Richard Meggoe is recommending the use of money from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) to increase the supply of potable water to the resort town of Negril.

According to Meggoe, money from the TEF could be used to develop a water-supply system at Roaring River in Westmoreland to facilitate Negril and outlying communities, providing approximately seven million gallons of water daily. He said that this would cost about $1.7 billion.

 

AIMING TO AVOID CONFLICT

 

"We could utilise money from the TEF because one of the tenets of the TEF is sustainable development. We don't want there to be conflicts between the residents, who actually now feel there is a focus on the resorts and they are being short-changed," said Meggoe.

He noted that the NWC had undertaken a US$6 million pipeline project two years ago, which interconnected the Great River Water Supply to Lucea, in a bid to relieve the Logwood Water Treatment System of the task of supplying communities to the east and to better facilitate Negril, which is located to its west.

"But even with that, there (has been) expansion (and) if the infrastructure is not improved, then the carrying capacity will be exceeded. As it is now, we are in crisis mode, because every night, NWC has to have people out in the field doing interventions, manipulating the system ... ," said Meggoe.

"Ground has been broken for 1,200 units from the NHT, and there is a Whitehall system that is coming, so obviously, we are going to have a problem with carrying capacity, so there has to be additional water into the system.

"There has to be different modalities. One modality could be that we find water from elsewhere to transport into Negril, or possibly, we have to do some more quality tests on the Cabaritta because of the issue with the sugar cane waste. That is a problem," added Meggoe.

According to the NWC official: "We may have to look at insisting that if there is going to be expansion, that the hotel developers provide their own water source, and if they have excess, it could be sold to the NWC."