PUBLIC Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte said a plan co-developed with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) should make this country’s water supply issues a thing of the past.
He was speaking Tuesday at the dry season and water management outlook for 2020 media conference held at the ministry, St Clair.
He said with capacity for 240 million gallons for about 1.4 million people TT had the highest water per capita in the region, South America and parts of the world. He explained the supply problem (some households only receive water once per week and some none at all) was the distribution system and demand management structure and these were the areas that required fixing.
Le Hunte said the ministry was trying to determine how to fix the problem once and for all and over the last six to eight months a number of different plans have been discussed with different agencies “to help us come up with a comprehensive plan that meets the scrutiny of international standards as to what do we need to do so that we could be in a position, TT, over a period of three to five years, to say this water situation is now a thing of the past”.
He reiterated this plan would entail a combination of things. He reported receiving a report dated January 5, 2020 from the IDB from whom consultants have been engaged.
“And they have been able, together with WASA, to come up with a comprehensive plan as to what is required to be able to deal with all of this.”
He said the plan is presently under review and the ministry should be in a position to place a long-term plan “so we could at least say that we are able to deal with this matter over a period.” Le Hunte recalled he told IDB that as the plan was being formulated the IDB must be in a position to fund the plan and he believes he has gotten that commitment.
“So we are looking at dealing with this matter comprehensively moving forward. So there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Le Hunte said part of the solutions by the IDB will be metering of all residential customers. He reported currently five per cent or less of residential customers are metered while between 75-80 per cent of commercial customers are metered.
He said the metering will involve high capital expenditure and in the past three to four years money was not flowing to do this.
“It should have happened before.”