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LETTER OF THE DAY - Make productive use of wastewater

Published:Tuesday | February 12, 2013 | 12:00 AM


Every day, millions of gallons of water go to waste through our faucets and showers - water that could be used to grow crops.

The recent public announcement of harvesting water, though timely, should be backed up by public education on utilising wastewater. This could be accomplished by the Ministry of Agriculture providing advice and information on creative means of water dispersal based on topography to maximise the greatest return from efforts to reuse wastewater.A desk at the ministry dedicated to inquiries on good cultural practices would be very valuable in promoting such an initiative.

Seven years ago, I reconfigured the plumbing apparatus of my mother's home at a cost of $10,000.All wastewater from sinks to showers was channelled on the land, rather than going into a pit. From the water that we ran on the land, we were able to grow bananas, pumpkins, peppers, and sugar cane.From the crops grown, we have recovered our $10,000 investment and more.

Not many people can afford the immediate cost of plumbing reconfiguration; hence the National Water Commission (NWC) should play a significant role in promoting this enterprise. I suggest that persons desirous of utilising wastewater in growing crops, who do not have the money to make the necessary plumbing corrections, should be facilitated by the NWC making contracted plumbing services available to them.

The NWC could consider each application, making a determination of the feasibility of their proposal. Should the NWC make a favourable determination, the work could be completed under its auspices and the cost of the plumbing reconfiguration could be attached to the recipients' water bill, to be collected over a period of time.

The Ministry of Agriculture, working in tandem with the NWC, is well placed to implement this two-pronged strategy that would enable us to grow an abundance of food never before imagined.