THE EDITOR: I have noted with concern, a report in the media that at a news conference, the Minister of Public Utilities implored the population to apply certain measures, mainly of a personal nature, with a view to managing an impending water distribution crisis as a result of a predicted harsh dry season.
In making his plea, the minister quite correctly made the point that TT, “had been at that point before and had been able to weather it.” Characteristically, he seems to have absolved WASA, in particular, of blame from not having “educated” the population in the practice of “efficient” water usage, the Authority being aware, I feel sure, that average water-usage by our average citizens is approximately twice the international standard.
Instead, the minister was somewhat complimentary in lauding the measures WASA have been proposing in order to fend off the impending water crisis. I am wondering whether the minister is confident the measures proposed will have meaningful effect. Knowing our population, I doubt it.
Is it not ironic that only a few short weeks ago, several parts of this country had to face the vagaries of disastrous flooding? In this regard, I am wondering how feasible it is to revisit the proposals some time ago for construction of “retention ponds.” I seem to recall this proposal was felt to be coming from a mind considered “eccentric.”
What cannot be considered “eccentric” however is undoubtedly the major “remedy” which the minister ought to be considering seriously...universal metering of water supply. I am wondering whether he has been made aware that during the 1980s, the now discarded PUC made what was then considered plausible proposals in this regard.
Is the minister aware that a programme for water-metering was implemented in the Diamond Vale area only to be abandoned not too long after when concerns at possible higher water rates were expressed in some quarters?
I am sure the minister will agree a system of universal metering will provide the remedy for most of the ills he identified by instilling discipline among water users, on the principle of, “pay-as-you-use.” Needless to say, members of the public now being deprived through wanton wastage by their fellow citizens would also tend to benefit.