Mon | Sep 25, 2017

More dams and reservoirs not the way to go, says Prime Minister

Published:Tuesday | August 18, 2015 | 8:26 PM
Simpson Miller ... studies have shown that building new storage facilities are not physically or economically viable.

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller says building more storage dams or reservoirs in Kingston is not the most effective way to respond to the water challenges now being faced in the Corporate Area. 

She made the disclosure in the 'Ask Your Prime Minister' a feature in today's edition of The STAR newspaper. 

Simpson Miller says studies have shown that building new storage facilities are not physically or economically viable. 

READ: Prime Minister responds to water worries

She argues that although the National Water Commission (NWC) operates 460 water supply systems across Jamaica, only four are connected to the Hermitage Dam and the Mona Reservoir. 

According to Simpson Miller, this means a reliable water supply is not necessarily dependent on storage capacity. 

The Prime Minister says this is why the government has been focusing on increasing and expanding access to reliable water sources in other parishes.

According to her, over the past three years, the NWC has spent more than $20 billion on 100 projects island wide to improve its water supply infrastructure, capacity and distribution.

Meanwhile, Simpson Miller says about $10.4 billion is being spent on projects in the Kingston Metropolitan Area to improve water supply to thousands of residents and businesses. 

A $4.9 billion contract was recently signed with Israeli firm Miya to undertake a project to reduce water loss and theft over the next five years. 

The remaining amount includes $2.5 billion budgeted for the Kingston and St. Andrew Water Facilities Rehabilitation Project to improve well sources, pumping stations and reservoirs in the Corporate Area. 

Another $3 billion is being spent on refurbishing the Mona, Hope, Constant Spring and Seaview water treatment plants.