British Virgin Islands

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Water demand expected to increase

Water demand expected to increase

The Ministry of Works & Utilities is expecting the demand for water to increase locally.

Utilities Minister Kye Rymer gave that indication in the House of Assembly last Thursday while noting the already big demand from the local farming community.

“On average, agriculture at Paraquita Bay currently accounts for 150 gallons per minute or over 300,000 gallons of water being withdrawn from our distribution network in the span of just four hours. And might I add that water use or demand is also expected to increase from other programmes that irrigate food production in the area in the near future,” the minister stated.

His statement comes at a time when unreliable water supply and water interruptions continue to affect several communities in the territory.

But according to the minister, water production is not the underlying reason for these problems.

“The territory does not have a water production problem. We are producing more than enough potable water to supply the entire population. Our challenges lay in the storage capacities and the distribution networks,” Rymer said, adding that his ministry is making progress in rectifying the issue.

“We have been making steady strides to upgrade the water network distribution system. Specifically, the installation of new water reservoirs in the Long Bush and Carrot Bay communities. These tanks have been substantially completed, and the Recovery & Development Agency — which is the executing agency — is in collaboration with the ministry, is in final preparations for the Carrot Bay Reservoir’s handover ceremony, which is slated for the week of 26th April,” the minister added.

He continued: “In the Road Town area, works continue to progress to commission the Long Bush Reservoir. This has caused many inconveniences to residents, to businesses, and motorists. During the latter part of last month, the contractor commenced installing District Metered Area (DMAs) — bulk meters. As these meters enable hydraulic isolation and complete water usage recording in sections of the general network, and we will have better water usage accountability by communities. We will further provide more precise data in executing efficient leak detention exercises. This phase of the water improvement project will also help us to reduce the amount of non-revenue water.”

Another project

Rymer said his ministry is now embarking on another project in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture to further improve water availability to local farmers.

This project involves upgrading specific existing segments of the main distribution pipelines Rymer said are “much past their useful life” and suspected of having leaks which “may be contributing to low pressure or no water pressure to some farm lots at higher elevations”.

The legislator further reassured residents his ministry will continue to invest in improving the territory’s water infrastructure and building it’s capacity for resilience and sustainability.

“Please allow me this opportunity to extend sincere apologies for the frequent water interruptions and traffic disruptions during this time. These inconveniences are necessary though, to facilitate the works to progress to a more reliable and efficient water supply,” Rymer stated.


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