Four months into the rainy season the island’s lone water company is complaining that it might be forced to introduce water rationing if the rains don’t come soon.
And according to acting General Manager of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) Dr John Mwansa the prognosis is not good.
Dr Mwansa told reporters at the BWA’s Pine Commercial Estate, the Pine, St Michael headquarters that precipitation outlook forecasts by the Caribbean Regional Climate Outlook Forum (CARICOF) suggest that rainfall will be 50 per cent below normal for the period September to November 2015.
He said this would “definitely” result in a drought since the bulk of the country’s water supply comes during the months of September to November and the amount of rain that
falls during this period determine the amount of water resources available going into the next year.
“If the predictions of below normal rainfall come to fruition then Barbados will definitely have a drought . . . Droughts come in different magnitudes. You can have a drought that only affects your water supply by 10 per cent which you may be able to handle more easily, than a drought that affects your supply by 20 or more. So it depends on the magnitude of the drought that we are going to experience that would determine the extent of the measures that we would have
to implement,” the acting water company boss said.
Asked if the water supplied by Ionics Freshwater Ltd was used to augment the island’s water supply, the acting general manager said the four million gallons of water is transferred to Christ Church and St Philip to augment supplies for the proposed developments there.
Mwansa added that the desalination system contributes to the west coast water supply but it also transfers water into the St Stephens/ Lodge Hill systems and then transferred up to Shop Hill, St Thomas and St George.
He pointed out that in an attempt to address the situation an order had been placed for four additional water tankers, bringing the total to eight.
Mwansa warned that nightly shut-offs would be introduced to try and get more water into the Golden Ridge Reservoir to allow for pumping to Castle Grant Reservoir which feeds most of the higher areas of St Joseph, St Andrew and St Thomas.
He said the BWA would clean the Bowmanston well and lower the pump in the well in order to avoid pumping air
as water levels drop.
He assured residents of St John, St Andrew, St Joseph and St Peter who have had to live with dry taps for extended periods that this project would be completed by next Monday September 21, 2015.
Mwansa disclosed that plans were in place to augment water supplies through installation of pumps at wells at Groves Agricultural Research Station to feed directly into the Golden Ridge Reservoir by November. (NC)