Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Continued water conservation encouraged ahead of longest dry period

Published:Monday | January 4, 2016 | 1:02 AM
Mona Reservoir
Hermitage Dam
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In preparation for what is termed the longest dry period, which runs between December and April, the National Water Commission (NWC) is advising customers in the Corporate Area to continue practicing good water conservation. This, in spite of the significant improvement in the water levels at the two storage facilities.
NWC said while the water levels at the Hermitage Dam and the Mona Reservoir are currently at 100 per cent, inflows into the two facilities have begun to decline steadily, necessitating the introduction of night time restrictions. As a result of the adjustments, some customers may not experience any disruption at all while others will experience low water pressure or have no water between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m.
According to information from the Meteorological Service of Jamaica, El Nino, which is the driving force for the drought which Jamaica has been experiencing this year, is still expected to continue into the dry season, up to the end of March.
However, for the early rainfall season (April/May) conditions should improve over most parishes once the El Nino weakens, as is being predicted by the models.
NWC said it was critical that persons expect some disruptions, and that all efforts be continued to improve personal, household and community capabilities to treat with continuing water and climate related challenges. 
NWC said it was advanced with upgrading plans to improve water supply in its effort to mitigate future drought conditions.

CONSERVATION TIPS

The water company is advising customers to: check toilets for leaks; limit time water is on in while taking a shower; use a glassful of water to brush teeth; do not run pipe continuously while carrying out activities.
The company also advise that a dripping faucet can waste up to 7,600 litres (2,000 gallons) of water per year. Therefore, customers are advised to: wipe away gravy, grease and food scraps from plates and bowls before washing. If dishes are washed by hand, don’t leave the water running for rinsing. If there are two sinks, fill one with soapy water and one with rinse water. If only one sink, gather washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse them with a pan-full of water.  Similarly, don’t let the faucet run while cleaning food in preparation for cooking, just rinse them in a sink or a pan of clean water.
For outdoor use, instead of washing driveways, sidewalks, gutters and steps, use a hard broom to sweep these areas.  Don’t use fresh water for plants and garden, save the rinse water from the kitchen or laundry, and do watering in the early morning – this prevents fungus growth, which occurs when you water at dusk.
Don’t let children play with taps, hoses and sprinklers, which could waste hundreds of gallons of precious water. Wash vehicle with a bucket of water and a rag, not a running hose.
NWC is also assuring customers that it will play its part in dealing with leaks in a speedy manner.