Thursday 9 July, 2020

Reservoir levels low: Water supply to some areas severely affected

Acting WASA CEO, Alan Poon King

Acting WASA CEO, Alan Poon King

The Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) says it is experiencing challenges with maintaining a reliable water supply to several communities across the country.

Speaking at a media conference on Thursday, WASA Acting CEO Alan Poon King said Dry Season conditions have negatively impacted production at several water treatment plants across the country.

"Between January 2019 to present, the country has experienced a harsh 2019 Dry Season, a drier than normal 2019 Wet Season, followed by another harsh Dry Season 2020. In fact, this Dry Season included the second driest April in 75 years. This has led to accumulative deficit in rainfall at our main impounding reservoirs of 20 percent on average in Trinidad and 13 percent in Tobago."

He said under normal conditions, the Authority produces and distributes approximately 242 million gallons of water per day throughout Trinidad and Tobago.

However, Poon King said in light of the present water conditions, overall production has been reduced to approximately 200 million gallons per day.

He said the Caroni Water Treatment Plant, which normally produces 75 million gallons of water per day, is now producing 40 million gallons per day.

Poon King added that production has been reduced from 23 million gallons to per day to 14 million gallons per day at the North Oropouche Water Treatment Plant.

"This is having a significant impact on the Authority's ability to maintain a reliable scheduled water supply to several communities particularly at high points or the extremities of our distribution network," he said.

These communities include: Manzanilla to Five Rivers, Tacarigua, Maracas/St Joseph, Santa Cruz, Morvant, Laventille, Belmont, Chaguanas, Endeavour, Longdenville, California, Cunupia, Carapichaima, Debe, Penal, Siparia, Mayaro, Tableland and Barrackpore. The WASA head said the Authority has increased its delivery of water by truck to supplement the pipeborne supply in these areas.

He said WASA has also been redistributing from unaffected areas.

"Given the reduced water we have available, redistribution of supply is also required. This entails the redistribution of water from unaffected areas with higher air pressures and a more higher regular supply to more water stressed areas located on the periphery of the water distribution system. To accomplish this, water supply schedules have been and continue to be amended based on shortfalls and existing demand."

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