Residents still weary of water woes, survey shows

Antigua’s main surface water catchment, Potworks Dam, is completely depleted as a result of drought conditions. (Photo courtesy APUA)
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By Adia Wynter

Four out of five people who responded to a recent survey said they rely on APUA as their main source of water – however, only one in five say they receive water daily.

Another one in five individuals say they receive water every other day, while a further 20 percent of respondents reported getting water just twice a week.

The people’s water woes were assessed via a questionnaire distributed by meteorologist Dale Destin, via his ‘Weather for the People’ WhatsApp group and other online platforms.

Garnering nearly 500 responses from the public, many people shared their distress and disappointment with current arrangements. 

One participant spoke of their desire to see a solution to the nation’s long-running water problems.

“APUA needs a preventative and corrective maintenance system/programme in place to help maintain our water supply service,” they wrote. “I had worked with such system/programme overseas for 23 years with one desalination plant that supplies the entire island and it works very well.”

However, seven out of 10 of the survey’s participants stated that they never purchase potable water for general household use, while a small percentage reported having to do so occasionally.

“APUA water supply fluctuated between every other day and once a week. Water would be available early in the morning, often subsiding before sunrise. Maintaining hygiene practices became a challenge so my household invested in water tanks and a water pump,” one person wrote.

Another said, “The water needs to be put on at an appropriate time for persons to use it. You can’t want to put on the water at midnight and then take it off by 8am which has been the case when the water is put on.

“Also, the water should be on over the weekend when most persons are home to be able to do laundry and clean their houses,” they added.  

Destin previously told Observer the questions were crowd-sourced and the survey apolitical.

Last month, Cabinet announced work to increase water production by fixing broken mains would be completed within 18 months. Government is also increasing the number of desalinating plants with three new ones to be constructed at Fort James, Ffryes Bay, and near Bethesda.

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