Water wastage: BWA losing millions of dollars a year

FROM LEFT: Andrea Gill, O’Reilly Lewis and Stephen Lindo at today’s news conference.
FROM LEFT: Andrea Gill, O’Reilly Lewis and Stephen Lindo at today’s news conference.

Barbados’ sole supplier of potable water continues to lose millions of dollars each year from wastage of this scarce commodity. And while Senior Engineer of the Barbados Water Authority, Stephen Lindo acknowledged that non-revenue earning water was currently at 49 per cent, he sought to make it clear, that all of it was not due to leakage.

Speaking this morning at a news conference at the BWA’s Project Execution Unit at Manor Lodge, St. Michael to announce a high level ministerial water conference here next month, Lindo identified several other reasons for the water which is not earning money.

“Non-revenue water does not necessarily translate into leaks. It’s more than leaks, because water that is used for fire fighting is also non-revenue water, water used by stand pipes is non-revenue water; and we have a number of uses for water that may very well not translate into leaks, so, consequently, it does not mean that because there is 49 per cent non-revenue water, that the leakage rate is as high as 49 per cent,” he explained.

He suggested that water supplied to customers from trucks, was also non-revenue water.

Public Relations Officer, Kim Young had earlier pointed out that under an existing programme with the Inter-American Development Bank to upgrade the operations of the Authority, that 49 per cent is to be reduced to 39 per cent over the next “couple” of years.

Meanwhile, Lindo is cautioning Barbadians about the impact which illegal dumping continues to have on the quality of the island’s water supply. “Illegal dumping has always been a problem that we have had, especially when that illegal dumping takes place in protected zone areas, zone one areas, like the Belle, Hampton and whatnot. It has always been a problem,” the Water Authority’s top engineer warned.

He said the company had been trying its best to address the issue by working with the Sanitation Service Authority and the Environmental Protection Department. “But it is a problem and it can impact negatively on our ground water supplies. As far as illegal connections are concerned, Lindo said it was under control.

He noted that there were a “few” instances of persons making illegal connections, adding that it is not an island-wide problem. (EJ)

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