Water catchment expansion nearing completion

Dam expansion project in the Burkes area. (Social media photo)
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By Latrishka Thomas

By the end of this week, a water catchment with the capacity to retain up to 30 million gallons of water is set to be completed.

Less than a month ago the Ministry of Agriculture, with investments from several farmers, undertook a dam expansion project in the vicinity of the Burkes farming settlement.

According to Minister of Agriculture, Samantha Marshall, there has been “significant progress in widening the dam’s capacity” such that it should be completed by this weekend at the latest.

Marshall explained that “the expected capacity at the maximum in terms of what will overflow is 30 million gallons from the inlet, and the ordinary capacity it will hold is up to 21 to 22 million but once the inlet allows everything in, we can hold up to 30 million.”

She said that water security has been a major challenge for farmers and “you can’t have food security without water security so our focus is going to be ensuring that we have more increased water security”.

The minister further stated that farmers have expressed concerns about using water from reverse osmosis plants.

 “A lot of the farmers feel that the best water for their crops is natural resource water and sometimes the osmosis water does not do so well with some crops,” she said.

Marshall, who is also responsible for Barbuda Affairs, said that the sister island will not be forgotten.

“We are going to be having some discussions — as long as we can arrange to go over — with the farmers in Barbuda and the Council, as to what are the challenges there … so we can give additional support,” she concluded.

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