Sat | Sep 22, 2018

Increased demand for water creating challenges for NWC

Published:Saturday | July 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer
Hermitage Dam
Charles Buchanan

Noting that the severe drought conditions will make it difficult to predict when water levels will return to normal, Charles Buchanan, corporate public relations manager at the National Water Commission (NWC), is urging citizens to conserve and avoid wasting the commodity.

In an interview with The Gleaner yesterday, Buchanan indicated that the Hermitage Dam in St Andrew continued to show lowering levels of water - the latest figures showing 54 per cent capacity.

"The very hot conditions have also made the demand for water much greater, even in many instances when we are supplying the same volume of water as we would normally supply," Buchanan said.

"We are finding a situation where there is a shortage of water, not because our systems have declined by any significant amount, but because the demand for NWC supplied water has gone up significantly," he continued.

Buchanan added, "In St Elizabeth, for example, we know that in many dry situations the demand for NWC supplied water has often gone up by as much 50 per cent. In these areas you would have little ponds and springs. When those dry up, you find that persons turn entirely to the NWC piped supply for all their water needs."

He said that the current challenges were compounded by the fact that the agency was embarking on a several roadworks and projects that will result in customers encountering frequent disruptions in their water supply. The public relations manager therefore urged citizens to be mindful of the challenges as they utilise their water supply.

"Irrigation of fields, watering of lawns that are going dry, watering of animals are issues that we face," said Buchanan. "So both the legal and illegal demand usually create a situation in which the supply that we are providing becomes inadequate to meet the increased demand that usually come in the hot months."