Water supply to improve due to heavy rains

The country’s main water catchments which had run out of water to supply the people due to prolonged drought, now have water to last at least until March next year. 

Ian Lewis, manager of the Water Business Unit at the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) provided the update during an interview on Monday. He said the Potworks Dam, which is the source of 20 percent of the surface water that’s distributed to the country, now has up to 10 feet of water which translates to just about 350 million gallons of water.

Things are also looking good at the Bendals Valley and other reservoirs across the country.

“The team that looked at our water resources did notice that the Big Creek area had quite a bit of flow which would indicate that the reservoirs upstream had collected water. Those would be the Fisher Reservoir and Brecknock’s and Hamilton’s.

“Each reservoir has about a six-week supply of water. We are looking at about an 18-week supply which is about another four months. So, we should have water coming from the Bendals reservoirs going to the treatment plant for the next four months. From both Delapps and Bendals, we should be able to put into the system about 1 million gallons of water,” Lewis said.

The country has been experiencing drought for quite some time, and earlier this year, APUA laid out a three-point plan to address the issue. One of the main initiatives was the installation of new membranes at all the desalination plants.

Lewis said that about 700 membranes were changed at the reverse osmosis plant at Crabbes and that plant is now producing way more than it used to. He said that by December, that plant should be producing about 4 million gallons of water per day, up from 3 million gallons.

“The Ffryes Beach plant, the Camp Blizzard Plant and the Plant at English Harbour, they will also see membrane changes to maximise production,” Lewis said. He explained that once the surface water runs out, the company would have to revert to the desalination plants, if there is a rainfall reduction.

As it relates to the current water-rationing schedule, the water management boss said that with the increased production, there will be an improvement in that schedule.

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