By Charminae George
In many areas across Antigua and Barbuda recently, households have been experiencing an ease in water rationing. Notwithstanding this, residents are encouraged to continue their water conservation practices as water rationing could return in mid-2024.
Currently, the combined amount of water in catchments across the country is enough to last approximately six months, Ian Lewis, Water Business Manager at the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) said recently.
What happens after those six months is dependent on adequate rainfall over the next couple of months to replenish the catchments.
“Once we get to June next year, if we have no rainfall that provides runoff to replenish the surface water reservoirs, then we may see ourselves returning to a conservation schedule once again,” he told Observer.
Presently, Potworks Dam contributes an average 700,000 gallons of water to households every day. That’s around 9 percent of the total local demand of 8 million gallons per day.
“At present, we’re treating that surface water resource at the Delaps Water Treatment Plant and we’re putting into the distribution system, approximately 600 to 800 thousand gallons per day,” Lewis said.
Over the past two months, Tropical Storm Phillipe and Hurricane Tammy brought torrential rains, significantly raising water levels of catchments across the twin island nation.
On Antigua, there are eight reverse osmosis plants currently in operation. Those eight plants are located at Crabbs, Shell Beach, Fort James, Ffryes, Camp Blizzard, Pigeon Point, Bendals and Delaps.
According to Lewis, the plants located at Crabbs, Shell Beach and Delaps produce the most water as they contribute 4.0, 1.7, and 1.5 million gallons of water, respectively.