Water rationing to continue in 2022, says APUA

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Residents have long bemoaned the country’s unreliable water supply (Photo courtesy The News Minute)
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Residents are being urged to continue to conserve water amid warnings that rationing of the critical resource will continue into the new year.

The admonition came from Ian Lewis, Head of the Water Business Unit at APUA.

While Antigua and Barbuda experienced heavy rains in November 2020 which resulted in the replenishing of surface and ground water, this year has not brought similar supplies, he said.

Lewis explained that 95 percent of water currently being distributed is via reverse osmosis plants and, as such, the company is only producing around six million gallons per day which has led to continued rationing.

He remains, however, hopeful that the addition of more plants, including the Japanese-sourced plant at Ffryes, will eventually improve the situation.

Construction of the facility, which will produce 350,000 gallons of water per day, has been stalled due to Covid-19.

“The plant actually arrived in October and still has to be set up due to the effects of Covid, which has affected the pricing and shipping process,” he explained.

“A lot of the equipment we use is made from oil and those prices right now are through the roof.”

Lewis said attempts are also being made to construct another reverse osmosis plant at Fort James. The project was approved two years ago and is expected to produce a further 500,000 gallons of water per day.

“That plant has been accepted by APUA now; we did the final reviews in October. It was scheduled to be shipped in November. Once it gets here it should be in operation by March,” Lewis added.

Last month, meteorologist Dale Destin said rainfall for the nine-month period from January to September 2021 ranked among the worst on record, warning that it was unclear when the country would see significant respite.

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