In­creased wa­ter de­mand cre­at­ing chal­lenges for NWC

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - jodi-ann.gilpin@glean­erjm.com

Jodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer NOT­ING THAT the se­vere drought con­di­tions will make it dif­fi­cult to pre­dict when wa­ter lev­els will re­turn to nor­mal, Charles Buchanan, cor­po­rate pub­lic re­la­tions man­ager at the Na­tional Wa­ter Com­mis­sion (NWC ), is urg­ing cit­i­zens to con­serve and avoid wast­ing the com­mod­ity.

In an in­ter­view with The Gleaner yes­ter­day, Buchanan in­di­cated that the Her­mitage Dam in St An­drew con­tin­ued to show low­er­ing lev­els of wa­ter – the lat­est fig­ures show­ing 54 per cent ca­pac­ity.

“The very hot con­di­tions have also made the de­mand for wa­ter much greater, even in many in­stances when we are sup­ply­ing the same vol­ume of wa­ter as we would nor­mally sup­ply,”Buchanan said.

“We are find­ing a sit­u­a­tion where there is a short­age of wa­ter, not be­cause our sys­tems have de­clined by any sig­nif­i­cant amount, but be­cause the de­mand for NWC sup­plied wa­ter has gone up sig­nif­i­cantly,” he con­tin­ued.

Buchanan added, “In St El­iz­a­beth, for ex­am­ple, we know that in many dr y sit­u­a­tions the de­mand for NWC sup­plied wa­ter has of­ten gone up by as much 50 per cent. In these ar­eas you would have lit­tle ponds and springs. When those dry up, you find that per­sons turn en­tirely to the NWC piped sup­ply for all their wa­ter needs.”

He said that the cur­rent chal­lenges were com­pounded by the fact that the agency was em­bark­ing on a sev­eral road­works and projects that will re­sult in cus­tomers en­coun­ter­ing fre­quent dis­rup­tions in their wa­ter sup­ply. The pub­lic re­la­tions man­ager there­fore urged cit­i­zens to be mind­ful of the chal­lenges as they utilise their wa­ter sup­ply.

“Ir­ri­ga­tion of fields, wa­ter­ing of lawns that are go­ing dr y, wa­ter­ing of an­i­mals are is­sues that we face,” said Buchanan. “So both the le­gal and il­le­gal de­mand usu­ally cre­ate a sit­u­a­tion in which the sup­ply that we are pro­vid­ing be­comes in­ad­e­quate to meet the in­creased de­mand that usu­ally come in the hot months.”

Her­mitage Dam

BUCHANAN

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