As the region approaches the dry season, the distribution of water poses a challenge for water authorities and in this regard the National Water and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA) in Grenada cautions against the upcoming dry season.
The lone Water utility in the country together with stakeholders held their annual media conference at the NAWASA Board room on the Carenage last Wednesday.
According to General Manager, Christopher Husbands, NAWASA wants to work with the public to ensure that all persons are prepared for what could possibly be a rough dry season.
Grenada is not yet affected by the season, he said, but the company does not want to wait until there are signs of effects before it starts the preparation.
Apart from awareness being raised through the media and social media platforms, NAWASA has already started with its technical preparation.
“We already are seeing that things are likely to worsen and a couple months earlier than what we have been experiencing over the years,” he said.
“… We’re at a point now where we’re looking at ways in which we can use one system to augment another system. Generally, the Western side of the island continues to be more robust than the Eastern side of the island – that’s just the way our water resources are”, he added.
Husbands is predicting what he referred to as “a more pronounced” dry season with effects on the Eastern side of the island particularly the St. David’s to St. George’s band which he referred to as “the area that have been feeling it more acutely over the last few years”.
He said the company has increased its response to leaks in pipelines and increased on the number of trucks in its possession to help with water distribution if the need arises.
“It’s very difficult to plan for leaks…recognising the importance of conservation we are going to be expanding our coverage throughout the island for a longer response in the event that leaks occur.
“We added a new truck, so we have a complement of three trucks this year. We’re going to be naturally using the trucks and based on the topography, some areas are going to be obviously stressed for us to reach.
The NAWASA boss pointed out that in a worst case scenario, the company will have to consider bringing in a portable Desalination Plant or two and set it up in particular areas where persons can connect to the transmission and distribution systems.
Husbands called on Grenadians to engage in water conservation, since one of the interventions that would have to be invoked this year is water restriction use which was last implemented in 2010.
“We’ll only get to this when the situation really and truly warrants it. We supply water while we encourage persons to conserve, we encourage persons to use water wisely in the dry season.
“We are aware that some persons don’t heed the call and our legislation provides for a restriction in which persons who violate the restriction do face consequences as prescribed by law.
“We’re not invoking it yet but we want persons to remember it and if needs be, we will naturally be getting the support of the police to enforce it, if it comes to that.
The sister isles of Carriacou and Petite Martinique have been furnished with Desalination Plants and this Husbands said, will help them fend for themselves during the dry season.
“We are in the process right now of completing transmission lines, completing storage tanks there but unlike the situation in 2010 when we had to be barging water from Grenada up to Carriacou and PM, we certainly have the ability to produce Desal water on Carriacou and on Petite Martinique which will certainly be able to mitigate the impact up there”, he said.
“…When things are tight with us here, we have to be always shipping water out to the islands. At least we’ve been able to provide for those islands – that certainly will help their standard of living and their ability to weather the storm up there,” he added.
During the press briefing, NAWASA encouraged persons on the mainland to have in their possession a water storage tank to help them out in the dry season.