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No ease-up in sight for water-supply woes

Published:Monday | July 21, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Warning that already serious water-supply concerns affecting Jamaica are likely to worsen, Robert Pickersgill, the minister of water, land, environment and climate change, has outlined a host of measures the Government will be taking.

In a statement to the nation last night, Pickersgill said his ministry has redeployed 40 trucks, several of them to the most critical areas such as Clarendon and St Elizabeth, where farmers are reeling under the drought.

"These trucks will continue to service these areas until normal rainfall is restored," the minister said.

"We have also provided an allocation to the parish councillors and to the members of parliament to deal with the trucking of water."

Pickersgill said the National Water Commission (NWC) and the ministry have been put on alert to rapidly fix leaks affecting the water-distribution system.

"I am imploring all members of the public to report all leaks, and I have given instructions to the NWC to establish two leak hotlines, as well as text-messaging services," Pickersgill said.

The minister stressed that a prohibition notice announced earlier this month, which makes it illegal for persons to waste water, or to use excessive amounts of NWC-supplied water in drought-affected areas, remained in effect.

Pickersgill noted that the El Niño weather phenomenon currently affecting the island was projected to continue and "will result in no significant increase of rainfall, even during the next rainy season, which is from October to November".

Do your part, report leaks

The Leak Hotline numbers are 733- 5655, and 733-5656.

Dr Kingsley Thomas, president of the NWC, and senior staff at the NWC will directly access emailed concerns at

You may also text 838-LEAK (5325) to report leaks.