Sat | Sep 18, 2021

NWC seeking to add 3,000 new customers in Westmoreland

Published:Tuesday | February 23, 2021 | 12:19 AM

WESTERN BUREAU:

The National Water Commission (NWC) is seeking to add approximately 3,000 new customers to its database and provide temporary employment for thousands of young people in Westmoreland, noted Carole Fisher, NWC’s project manager for the customers mapping project.

According to Fisher, the NWC’s Customer Census Mapping Project is scheduled to roll out in all communities in the parish in March, with the hope that it will be completed early in the 2021-22 financial year.

“We will be coming into your wonderful parish about the second week of March, as part of our customer service mapping project, where we will be hiring thousands of youngsters through the Housing, Opportunity, Production, and Employment (HOPE) programme or through the HEART Trust,” she told councillors during the recent monthly meeting of the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation.

Fisher said the NWC’s Customer Census Mapping Project involves a door-to-door survey of existing and potential NWC customers, mapping them using global positioning system (GPS) devices so that the company can use this digital information in its continuous service improvement efforts.

The customer census project, which started back in 2017, has so far covered 10 of the 14 parishes islandwide and has placed the company in a position that will ultimately result in better water and wastewater service delivery, improved responsiveness to customer complaints and better customer service.

Customer census mapping activities have already been completed for the parishes of Kingston, St Andrew, St Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester, St Ann and Trelawny. The other parishes are either mapping up their activities or waiting to commence.

“At the end of the day, we are aimed at improving our customer service delivery of our operations for the over 650,000 customers that we have on the island. In Westmoreland, there are 27,354 customers on our system and I predict that by the time we are finished, we will be adding another 3,500 customers,” Fisher stated.

GEO-REFERENCING CUSTOMER LOCATION

As for the project on the ground in Westmoreland, Fisher stated that the aim of the Customer Census Project is to give eyes to the NWC on the exact locations of their water meters across the parish to better manage what it calls non-revenue water.

“First of all, we want to know where all our water meters are, which is synonymous with our customers, although there are customers who don’t necessarily have a water meter on the ground,” she explained.

“We will be going around, using cell phones or tablets to geo-reference the water meters; however, if there are no meters, then we are geo-referencing the customer location.”

Fisher further stated that where there are no formal distribution systems passing through areas where people live and operate a business, they will be added to the company’s database and treated as potential customers for future investments.

“We will be geo-referencing those parcels of lands or houses as potential customers. This will then be handed over to the parish manager for small projects and other initiatives in time to come when we would want to improve the distribution lines in the parish,” noted the NWC project manager.

Under the Census Mapping Project, the NWC says its database will be upgraded, so as to enable the persons living on properties where their water meters are located to add their names, instead of continuing with those of their grandparents who may have died.

editorial@gleanerjm.com