Minister for Communications and Works, Hon. Mark Vanterpool has announced that the water shortage presently experienced by some communities is a result of water rationing and that the rationing will come to an end soon and residents will be able get 24 hours water supply by year end.
Speaking at the ‘Government on the Road’ meeting in the Sixth District, Hon. Vanterpool said that he is aware that a reliable supply of water is an issue and stated that the problem is being sorted out. “We are trying to resolve and trying to get water more consistently to you our constituents. We are trying to make sure that it happens as quickly as possible.”
“We presently have a water plant in Baughers Bay that produces over 800,000 imperial gallons of water a day. This water is produced at Baughers Bay and pumped up to the storage tanks at the Fort Hill area and then fed back down to all of the areas. It is not enough water to keep us 24 hours, seven days a week; so we tend to produce the water for the day and at night try to get the reservoirs up to a certain point where it can then gravity feed the rest of the areas in the daytime.”
“If we kept them on all the time where people were using water all day, then the reservoir would be empty and we won’t be able to fill it; so the strategy is for now to be able to fill the tanks mostly at night when we cut off at seven or eight o’clock at night, get them filled up to a certain level so that in the daytime when people use more water, water is available,” he added.
The Minister explained that there was a plan to improve the water system in Baughers Bay. However, that plan was shelved when a decision was taken some years ago to hire or contract a company called Biwater to develop a plant in Paraquita Bay. He said that Biwater would produce 2.3 million imperial gallons of water per day in Paraquita Bay by pulling the water from the sea, desalinating it, and pumping the water up to Sabbath Hill where two major storage tanks were developed. From Sabbath Hill, the Minister said that the water will then be gravity fed all over the Territory.
Hon. Vanterpool disclosed that the Biwater plant is expected to be online and launched in October or thereabout this year, and that at that time water will become more available.
“Rather than us having 800,000 in Baughers Bay, we will be having 2.3 million gallons a day from the Paraquita Bay plant that will be fed through the Territory.”
Unfortunately this was announced to be bittersweet news as the Minister hinted that there might be more cost involved: “In fact we are concerned that we will be getting too much water and we won’t be able to pay for it because we have to take it anyway. The contract that we have with the company is that whether we want it or not or using it or not we have to pay for it; so we are trying to work out how we are going to deal with that, but hopefully by then we can put a program in place where we can have water to you 24/7. Of course you know if you use more water you have to pay a little more so that’s going to be the issue, but it is expected to have water flowing a little more in the next several months,” the Minister said.