Sun | Jul 21, 2019

At least four NWC systems have dried up due to drought

Published:Thursday | May 23, 2019 | 5:06 PM
File photo

The National Water Commission (NWC) is reporting that at least four of its water supply systems have dried up as a result of ongoing drought conditions in sections of the island.

The NWC says its Higgin Town, Dawson and Content plants in St Ann are out of water.

So too has the Violet Bank system in rural St Andrew.

Further, the commission says four other systems (Seville #1, New Ground, Avisfield and Blackstonedge) have each declined to as little as 9% - 10% of normal production.

The utility company reports that about 90 of its 450 water supply systems islandwide are now being affected by varying degrees of drought conditions.

The NWC says the most affected systems are in the Eastern Division.

LIST OF FACILITIES AFFECTED BY DROUGHT CONDITIONS 

The agency says the worst-affected systems are primarily surface-water-fed systems mainly in: –

Portland: 8 systems

St Mary: 8 systems

St Ann: 10 systems

St Thomas: 4 systems

Clarendon: 11 systems

Kingston and St. Andrew: 31 systems

In the Corporate Area, the declining inflows have resulted in both the 393MG-capacity Hermitage Dam and the 809MG-capacity Mona Reservoir falling to 37.5% and 26.2% of their respective capacities.

The NWC says night-time restrictions have consequently been imposed on the Mona and Hope water supply systems.

While being system-specific, a range of normal drought mitigation measures are being implemented to include:

 • Regulating of supplies

• Trucking of water

• Accessing additional sources of water

• Maximising existing sources of supply

• Reducing losses from systems and improving the distribution network

• Improving the capacity to share water from least-affected systems with worst-affected systems

• Expediting water supply improvement projects that could possibly assist in drought mitigation

• Public education and conservation education

•  Normal operations continue on the majority of NWC systems despite the drought, either because of the resilient nature of those particular systems, the rainfall in those watersheds or mitigation measures already implemented by the commission.

DROUGHT AFFECTED AREAS

Parish                     Facility                                  Operating Level

St James         Endeavour Pumping Station          45%

                       Mafoota Pumping Station              50%

                       Mt  Pelier                                       75%

Trelawny        Wilson Run Pumping Station        50%

                       Ulster Spring Pumping Station      50%

                       Queen of Spain Deep well             30%

Hanover         New Milns Pumping Station          50%

Manchester    Moravia Treatment Plant                30%

                       YS Spring                                       90%

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