Public Utilities Minister: water plan in effect for dry season

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    Public Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte says there is a three point plan in place to help this country weather the 2019 dry season.

    Meteorologists have warned that there may be up to 10% less rainfall than usual in Trinidad, and 24% less than usual Tobago.

    The plan focuses on water production, addressing non-revenue water and public education and awareness of water production.

    Mr Le Hunte says WASA is repairing 28 wells which, when completed in February, will bring 5 million gallons into the system.

    It is also moving towards the rehabilitation of 10 more wells by the end of the month, which will produce a total of 1.5 million gallons.

    Two drilling projects are also are scheduled for completion by April 2019: the Arouca #10 Well, with an estimated production of 150,000 gallons per day and the Signal Hill Well in Tobago, with an estimated production of 350,000 gallons per day.

    DESALCOTT has reportedly been upgrading its plant to the latest technology and Mr Le Hunte says not only will it produce 40 mgd, but it will also be able to increase output to 43 mgd if necessary.

    There is also the issue of aging infrastructure, which contributes to Non-Revenue Water which is simply the amount of water lost from the system that is unaccounted for.

    According to Mr Le Hunte, while a small percentage of this is due to illegal connections, the majority is as a result of aged and leaking infrastructure.

    He says WASA has undertaken a Leak Repair Programme, which saw the number of reported leaks decrease from over three thousand to about two thousand in the past year.

    The Majority of the leaks though are reportedly underground, and so, the Ministry has partnered with the IDB to utilize new technology that will help to locate and address them.

    WASA will also beef up its monitoring and enforcement to ensure that these illegal connections are identified and dealt with.

    As for the third point of public education and awareness of water production, the Minister wants citizens to understand how consumption habits can affect supply.

    According to him, the average Trinbagonian uses 83 gallons of water per day, while the international standard put forward by the World Health Organization is 44 gallons.

    As such, he is calling on persons to practice conservation.

    Some tips include:

    1. Having shorter showers
    2. Turning off the water while you brush your teeth
    3. Filling the sink when washing dishes
    4. Using a bucket instead of a hose to wash your car
    5. Washing full loads when you use your washing machine