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NWC launches counterattack - Water thieves targeted in western Jamaica

Published:Wednesday | May 16, 2012 | 12:00 AM

 Barrington Flemming, Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

The National Water Commission (NWC) has launched a bold initiative to reduce the vast number of illegal connections to its systems as part of an overall bid to address the irregular water supply to some communities in the Greater Montego Bay area.

Among the areas affected by irregular water supply are Glendevon, Norwood, Paradise, Rosemount, Rose Heights, and Rosemount Gardens.

Ava Marie Ingram, the community relations manager for NWC's western region, on Monday told The Gleaner that the company was being adversely affected by people tapping into its regular water supply, which is impacting on its ability to supply water to the structured areas.

"We are encouraging those persons who have made illegal connections to our systems to come and regularise their service because it is in the best interest of the customer to ensure good service and it is also in the interest of the NWC," said Ingram. "This is what we call 'non- revenue water', which we have to ensure no longer exists."

Ingram said the Logwood plant, which generally serves the Lucea and Negril areas, has not been functioning to capacity and, therefore, five million of the 13 million gallons of water produced by the Great River plant daily is fed into the Lucea system.

However, Ingram said the situation with Logwood Plant does not heavily impact Montego Bay, which is also served by the Martha Brae-based Queen of Spain Valley system, which has a capacity of six million gallons.

Ensuring regular supply

"The Greater Montego Bay area has a daily demand of 20 million gallons of water, which we are able to supply," said Ingram. "However, we are challenged at times by turbidity, power outages and vandalism of trash cleaners, which create challenges.

"The areas of higher elevation sometimes are without their supply because the tanks have to be filled and then the lines are charged so they can receive water," she added.

Ingram said an important component of the NWC's new initiative was to ensure that water supply is regularised for the communities of higher elevation, which are regularly challenged by turbidity at the catchment and intake areas.