Charlestown, Nevis (April 13, 2007)
Junior Minister with responsibility for Public Utilities the Hon Carlisle Powell said that Nevisians need not feel despair with the recent water hiccups experienced on the island, since he had confirmation that an additional 1 million gallons of water would be infused into the system by July 2007.
Mr. Powell told the Department of Information in an interview on Friday April 13, 2007, that Bedrock Exploration and Development technologies (BEAD) a company with which the Nevis Island Administration had reached an agreement to provide additional water for Nevis, had issued a timeline on Thursday April 12, 2007.
“I am delighted to say “¦they have given us a time line which is suggesting that by July 2007, we would be in a position to get additional water in the system and they are fairly confident that they will complete all of their works by December 15, 2007. We are looking at getting in the system an additional one million gallons of water per day.
“The company is very confident that based on the information they have been provided with, that they will be able to produce to us and to meet their contractual obligations of providing 1 million gallons of water per day. This information was received just last night,” he said.According to the schedule entitled “Nevis Water Development Plan” mobilization which began on February 15, 2007; data acquisition analysis and the identification of areas favourable for detailed investigation is slated to be completed by May 1st while geological mapping and test drilling in selected target areas is expected to commence on April 16, with a completion date of May 30th.
Test drilling will commence on June 15th and the process will be completed on September 15th with production well drilling expected to commence and conclude on the same dates. Aquifer testing and reports will commence on June 30th with a completion date slated for October 15th. The construction of pump house and the installation of a pump and generator will take place on July 15 and will be completed on November 15th. Pipeline construction is slated for July 15 with a completion date of December 15.
Meantime, Mr. Powell explained that the water shortages yielded positive experiences which the Nevis Water Department and the people of Nevis would benefit from in the future.
“It has helped us to refocus, reorganize and to look at the personnel that we have and try to get best use from the people we have working at the Nevis Water Department. In addition it has brought home to the people living on Nevis, the fact that water is a scarce resource, we are going to have to adopt very good conservation measures so that when we have the resource we don’t misuse it.
“Another positive that came out of the challenges we are having with water at the moment is that, we made a decision that every week day morning we will have an officer of the Water Department available to the general public to provide information on water. So this officer will make an appearance on NNC and the local stations and other members of the press can be present.
He said if there were particular problems in any area with respect to the distribution of water, if water was to be rationed or if the Department faced any difficulty with the pumps the information would be made available to the public
“I have made the request of the people at the Water Department that they will provide the information to the public so that everybody would know what is happening in Nevis with respect to water. We don’t want to hide anything,” he said. The exercise is expected to commence on Monday April 16, 2007.
Notwithstanding, in a comment on the response by personnel from the Water department with regard to the major water shortage last weekend Mr. Powell stated categorically that they had acted in a professional manner having recognised that the outage was due to an unfortunate number of circumstances that occurred simultaneously.
“The Water Department has been very professional. We had the challenges with respect to the several outages for pumps being down then we had a broken water pump main at Zion on Sunday which took us some eight hours to fix. With that broken pump line, it naturally meant that we had to shut down the pump so we were not pumping for that eight hours.
“Our people responded very well when they found out what the challenges were in that once we noticed that the levels in the reservoirs started falling the next thing that we did was to move to a process where we started rationing water and that is what we did. So that is why you find some areas were out, some areas naturally longer than [others],” he explained.