Minister: Water restrictions coming if heat persists

Minister of Public Utilities Marvin Gonzales -
Minister of Public Utilities Marvin Gonzales -

Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales is calling for people to manage their water use as he warned that the current hot spell is leaving dams and water reservoirs facing “dry-season conditions.”

Gonzales told Newsday the Hollis Reservoir in Valencia had been hardest hit by the heat wave.

“We have already reduced production from 8.5 million gallons of water to 7.5 million gallons of water because we are already seeing a drop in the lake level’s long-term average and to ensure the dam and the reservoir remain at a safe level, WASA had to cut back production.”

Gonzales added that although WASA had cut production at the dam, measures had been taken to pick up the slack elsewhere so that customers were not affected.

“Because we drilled three or four wells over the last year, customers will not necessarily feel the impact of that cutback because those wells are in production and are producing 600,000 gallons. The cutback is being supplemented by those wells to the extent that customers will not feel the cutback.”

Gonzales pointed to the high level of evaporation and the low inflows of tributaries as evidence that the heat was already impacting the reservoir.

He called on the public to manage their water consumption.

“Impose little restrictions on yourself in terms of how you manage and conserve water. Once you do that, it means more water will be available to go through this very difficult weather condition we are experiencing.”

He said if the weather conditions continue to persist, WASA might have to consider implementing water restrictions.

“I am hoping we don’t have to resort to that position...

“This is like dry-season conditions we are experiencing, so our reservoirs must be managed.”

The level of the Hollis Reservoir is, however, nowhere near its record low set three years ago.

In July 2020, reservoirs across TT were at record lows with the majority at 20 to 30 per cent capacity.

The Hollis Reservoir was the lowest at 16 per cent capacity after below-normal rainfall that month.

The capacity figures were well below the 50 to 60 per cent capacity expected at that time of the year.

WASA at the time implemented water restrictions and began patrols to ensure customers obeyed the then water restrictions.


"Minister: Water restrictions coming if heat persists"

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