CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (FEBRUARY 05, 2007)
The Nevis Island Administration gave the green light to Bedrock Exploration and Development Technologies (BEAD) to commence deep drilling for water to meet the growing demands for the commodity at a cheaper cost to consumers.
The disclosure was made recently by the Hon. Carlisle Powell, Minister with responsibility for Utilities on Nevis during an interview with the Department of Information at his office in Charlestown. He said cabinet had selected BEAD from a shortlist of five companies who had indicated their interest to provide Nevis with up to an extra million gallons of water per day.
Mr. Michael Miville of BEAD said the exploration process would be approximately three to six months and a drill rig would be in the island before six months. He expressed the hope that it would not take long to develop the initial supplies of water primarily in areas where there is the greatest need. “The capital cost to the NIA is zero. The BEAD takes on the responsibility of all capital expense in return for a 10 year contract with the government to sell the water to the government at a fixed rate. That fixed rate will be less than the tariff that the Nevis water Department charges to the consumer,” he said.
Dr. Ronald Hoag, the exploration company’s geologist, noted that he had been involved in ground water exploration for the last 30 years worldwide and the company had recently completed successful exploration in Trinidad and Tobago and Montserrat.
He explained that BEAD’s approach would include satellite imagery oil techniques and detailed mapping in the field in order to identify the potential volcanic rock at depths of 300 to 1000 ft. for aquifers which formed tens of thousands of millions of years ago underneath the current volcanic deposits that are continuously recharged from the mountains and currently the water is flowing underground to the ocean.
He said exploration work would be done in the northern to north-eastern side of the island in areas that were not geothermal.
Meantime, Mr. Ernie Stapleton Permanent Secretary in the Ministry responsible for Utilities noted the importance of the project to Nevis. He explained that there was already a strain placed on the existing water system due to the rate of construction.
“What has been happening over the years is that we have had developments which are now putting a strain on the water system. We have prospect of hotel development in the Pinneys area, we have prospect of hotel development in other areas in Nevis and those entities would require additional water. The population of Nevis is expanding and so water is a very essential element in the whole living standard of people and therefore we see a demand,” he said.