Potworks Dam weeks away from going dry

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The Potworks Dam, which serves as the country’s main fresh water catchment, is critically low with the current levels expected to last another four to six weeks if there is no rainfall.
Production Engineer Ian Lewis, within the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) Water Business Unit, said despite recent heavy rains the reservoir’s levels have continued to decline.
Lewis made it clear that APUA is not worried about the status of the one billion gallon capacity Potworks Dam as the Shell Beach/Barnacle Point reverse osmosis (r/o) plant will come online next week.
“This is our hurricane season and we do hope that we get some showers, whether tropical rains or fronts, but certainly not a storm,” Lewis said while speaking on OBSERVER AM yesterday morning.
Lewis also provided an update on the desalination plant located at Shell Beach which has had numerous delays.
He said the plant is still in the “testing and commissioning phase.” He also revealed that it would come online fully next week. The engineer explained that delays are a result of electrical issues which the team from APUA’s Electricity Unit would have rectified recently.
He continued by saying “Two nights ago, the Shell Beach r/o plant was online for seventeen out of the twenty-four hours at full capacity but was switched off the next day” because of the electrical problems.
The ongoing water scarcity in Antigua and Barbuda will “see some alleviation” according to Lewis who said the country will close the one million gallon gap.
Currently, APUA produces 5.3 million gallons daily and the demand is six million gallons per day.
The snapshot of the existing plants “is not the best picture” Lewis said, as he emphasised, that water production is stable at the plants that are located at Crabbs and Ffryes.
On the other hand, Camp Blizzard is undergoing some maintenance upgrades and is therefore out of service.
Similarly, the Bendals Valley is out of commission as there is no surface water left and the plant is dependent on the ground water in the valley

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