STATE utility WASA is saying that contrary to media reports, there is no water rationing. The authority said it continues to balance available water resources, production and customer demand and is maintaining its water production at current levels. Adjustments will be made to pipe-borne water delivery schedules to ensure equitable distribution of water towards sustainability of service.
Since January 2019 to present, the country has experienced back-to-back harsh Dry Seasons in 2019 and 2020 interspersed by a drier than normal 2019 Wet Season. In fact, over the last 18 months this has led to a cumulative deficit in rainfall at the Authority’s main impounding reservoirs and catchment areas as follows:
• Arena – 566 mm
• Navet – 902 mm
• Hollis – 1231 mm
• Hillsborough – 622 mm
• North Oropouche – 651 mm
It is important to note that the Authority’s water production portfolio is divided as follows: 60 per cent surface water (reservoirs, rivers, rural intakes and springs); 20 per cent ground water (underground wells); and 20 per cent desalination (Point Lisas and Point Fortin Desalination Plants).
The significant shortfall in rainfall over the last 18 months has impacted surface water sources and has had a major impact on water availability, production and distribution. The Authority has implemented various measures to mitigate the impact of below normal rainfall and reservoir levels over the period on water production and supply.
One such measure has been the redistribution of water from areas with high pressures, to areas with a deficit in supply. This has necessitated the implementation of amended water supply schedules, as the Authority seeks to distribute as equitably as possible, the reduced volume of water to the same number of communities and persons.
The Authority commenced works to enhance water supply by increasing water production. To this end, the Authority has completed and operationalized new wells at Arouca, Chaguaramas, Santa Cruz, Granville, as well as Arnos Vale, Carnbee and Calder Hall, in Tobago.
These wells are providing approximately 2 million gallons per day (mgd) to the Authority’s overall daily production. Additionally, rehabilitation works have been completed on 12 wells in areas such as Tucker Valley, Carlsen Field, Siparia, Las Lomas, Point Fortin and Sangre Grande.
A further 15 wells have been identified for rehabilitation works and this project is scheduled to commence in September 2020. In relation to developing new water treatment facilities, the Authority has also completed the construction of a new raw water intake and treatment plant at Charlotteville, Tobago.
The Authority, in a release on Friday, assured that it is aware of the challenges facing customers in some areas, particularly those at high points or at the extremities of distribution systems, impacted by reduced production.