ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Business Manager, Water Division Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA), Ivan Rodrigues, said the company has reached an agreement with its water supplier to bring an end to months of water shortage by providing another 200,000 gallons daily.
Speaking on OBSERVER Radio’s Voice of the People programme yesterday, Rodrigues said, “On Tuesday, the prime minister and members of the authority met with SembCorp and we were able to complete a negotiation which should see more water coming through the system. That additional water entered the system from (Wednesday) evening so going forward we should have better supply to our consumers.”
Rodrigues said under the usual arrangement, APUA takes a minimum of 3.1 million gallons of water from SembCorp and maintains a maximum capacity of 3.8 million gallons.
But, for the new arrangement “(SembCorp) indicated that they can make up to four million gallons; so following those negotiations they should be going up to the maximum. It’s no secret the authority owes them a considerable amount of money and what they’ve been asking for is how they’re going to get paid.”
The manager said as far as he’s aware, that was addressed.
On June 18, Prime Minister Gaston Browne said he would ensure the country’s water woes are addressed “within 14 days”.
Rodrigues noted the shortage of water was brought on by the drought and not debt to SembCorp.
He said the long-term solution to the effects of Antigua’s recurrent drought conditions, is to move to 100 per cent desalination.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)