Jamaica’s water crisis

Jamaicans
are being urged to brace for more water lock-offs as the long-running drought
worsens.

In fact, the National Water
Commission is warning that it cannot guarantee even the limited supply of the precious
commodity which some Corporate Area customers now get for a couple of hours
each day.

“Because of dwindling
supplies, and despite the scheduled water restrictions imposed, some areas have
not and will not be able to receive piped water supply,” the commission
said.

“As a result of the worsening
water situation, some customers who were previously receiving scheduled piped
service will experience a worsening of their water supply experience.”

According to the commission, it can
only provide the water that it collects and some customers will experience
severe shortages in some areas, regardless of the distribution regime that is
put in place.

The commission said the continued
absence of rain is causing the inflows into the most critical water supply systems
to dwindle even further as the country struggles with the worst drought to
affect the Corporate Area in more than 20 years.

“The cumulative effect of very
limited rainfall in most southern parishes over several months has resulted in
as much as a 90 per cent decline in inflows from some rivers and springs,”
said the commission.

“Each day, the Hope Water
Supply System is receiving more than three million gallons of water less than
what it needs; the Hermitage/Constant Spring Water Supply System is short by 12
million gallons daily and the Mona Water Supply System is short of eight
million gallons of water daily.”

The problems facing Corporate Area
residents is being compounded by the failure of the commission to restore a
number of wells as scheduled.

According to the NWC, its attempts
at drilling or rehabilitating additional wells as part of the drought
mitigation programme have been met with mixed results.

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