Jolly Harbour residents go months without APUA water

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Water woes in Jolly Harbour have left some residents and businesses frustrated with having to truck in thousands of gallons of water since February.
Jerry Page, president of the Jolly Harbour Homeowners Association, said yesterday that it has been a major inconvenience.
“The sea state has been very unusual, which has been causing problems for APUA, I don’t know why we have been without water for so long and it has been causing hardship and expense on the people here,” he said.
Page said “not everybody in Jolly Harbour is well off” and it is unfair for them to pay three times the amount they usually pay, plus the added inconvenience of waiting for it to be trucked in.
He said that with only two persons currently at his home, he has to truck in 1,000 gallons every two weeks. He noted that there are larger houses and people have guests in the community. “The trucks are coming and going all the time and constantly blocking the roads and it is not a comfortable situation,” Page surmised.
A U.K citizen, Page has been living in Antigua since 2004 for six months per year. He said this is the worst the water situation has been since he has been living here.
The homeowner association president said he has struggled to get information about the problems that have delayed the return of pipe-borne water from the Antigua Public Utilities Authority.
Jolly Harbour is a gated community that serves as a tourist hub and business centre.
Win Bernds, the general manager of Caribbean Development Antigua Limited (CDAL), which manages the gated community, said that since February 6, the community has only received 300,000 gallons of water.
“Our average consumption is about 45,000 per day, so if you take that from February 6, we have not gotten any water at all,” Bernds told OBSERVER media yesterday.
Bernds said APUA has indicated that water production has resumed at the Desalination Plant in Ffryes, but, there is still a challenge.
“The story I have been getting from APUA is that this might last until August. We are trying to look into a solution where we put a tank a little bit lower on the compound because apparently, the pressure is too low to pump it into our tanks which is in an elevated area. This is disastrous for homeowners, tourists and boats in Jolly Harbour. We couldn’t have a worse period in the year to have no water,” he said.
CDAL applied to the government for permission to build a desalination plant that would have the capacity to generate 100,000 gallons per day.
Bernds said Cabinet granted the request since 2016, however, CDAL has struggled to get APUA to grant the permit.
Yesterday, Sharifa George, APUA’s public relations coordinator, said the board was dissolved before the general election and no board is currently in place.

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