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Rapid response system to combat water outages

A rapid response mechanism will be in place “within a matter of a few days” to address water outages in some rural parishes.

Several community storage tanks are to be located at a number of parishes to allow for quick access to water during outages, Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management Dr David Estwick disclosed today at a briefing at the Ministry of Agriculture at Graeme Hall, Christ Church.

Dr David Estwick

Dr David Estwick

“We at the Ministry are saying that if everything works out as planned, some elements of the rapid response mechanism could be in place within a matter of a few days,” Dr Estwick said.

He explained that “some fabrications of specific sizes” would be sourced from Fiberpol Inc in Barbados and from Trinidad and Tobago, giving the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) the number of tankers needed “to be able to manage a particular outage at a reservoir.”

“The immediate response mechanism is in fact a system that will be put in place which is a fast track system to outages any part of the country. We plan to execute this system by introducing within the catchment area that is being serviced by a particular reservoir a series of community storage tanks into that area. These community storage tanks will be placed at particular locations within that community. The tanks will be refilled and refilled again by the various water tanks coming into the area,” Dr Estwick explained.

The St Philip West MP however told reporters that even though the provision of community storage tanks could address the immediate challenges of households, he saw the construction of desalination plants as the final solution to water outages in Barbados.

He said the advent of climate change meant there was no choice but to look to alternative sources of water.

“Going forward I can see no long term solution given that there is a further risk to continuing reduction in precipitation overtime as a result of climate change impact. The final solution to this problem may very well be desalination. We have engaged one or two private sector interests to start looking at the specifications for salt water desalination plants appropriately placed to look at resolving these issues.”

However, he warned that it would be another two to three years before the island’s water supply is augmented through the use of sea water desalination plants.

The Minister of Water Resources added that with the financial assistance offered by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Latin American Bank, the BWA must fix the water distribution by replacing old mains across the island.

Dr Estwick also told reporters that in an attempt to increase the volume of water available to households the reservoir at Vineyard, St Philip and the old Bulkeley Factory would be reactivated.

7 Responses to Rapid response system to combat water outages

  1. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce October 6, 2015 at 3:59 am

    Rapid response system to combat ‘Pure Talk and No Action’

  2. jrsmith October 6, 2015 at 5:47 am

    What a load of rubbish , what climate change ,that is an excuse ,blame this problem on bad management , lack of infrastructure upgrade.

    The minister….. going forward, I can see no long term solution….. you want to find a different job, Mr minister, you find water with technology, you drill for water, you upgrade you storage/reservoir , you build reservoir to catch rain water, all you doing is running pipeline , if you have no water, what then.

    Oh, I see ,waiting on someone to tell us what to do.

  3. Tony Webster October 6, 2015 at 5:54 am

    We lack rainfall; we lack adequate reservoirs; our subterranean pumps need up-sizing and re-location lower; we lack sufficient tanker-trucks; our mains are shot; we also lack cash of our own, to fund all this. We have known this for decades. BWA has always struggled financially, and even after a 60% hike in the tarriff, (according to my info) they still are in da red.

    So we go borrow and put up a testament to vanity for US$46 M. Remind me: this is a caring, competent government, which is running this country, just fine thank you!

    And bossman, after this miraculous sticking plaster solution; sez that “the future”…is a gigantic new desal plant. This desal water, will be used for cooking; washing da car; water da garden; flushing dollars (and other stuff) down da drain; filling swimming-pools etc. He did NOT say that this “solution’ had cabinet’s approval, or what the costs shall be; or where the cash shall come from. Have these big-brains ever considered a national plan (with funding ex the under-lent banks) and incentives to home-owners, to install better water-harvesting in homes and large buildings, and separate lines to showers, W.C’s, and garden hoses?

    Hmmmn….Cahill lives?

    All we now need, is stand-pipes everywhere.

  4. Ms. Bemused October 6, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Instead of de big pretty building up in de Pine, de money cuddy been spent upgrading de reservoirs and de mains. Always de damn cart before de horse. Not a drop of water well into 4 weeks now out hey in St. Peter but I could pass on Route one and see water gushing in de road a whole week now spouting so high you gotta close de car windows, but wanna talking bout wanna can’t see a solution going forward because of “long term reduction in precipitation”. Common sense really ain’t so common. Proper water management, technical support upgrades, mains upgrades, scrub and paint de damn old buildings not build new ones. And Stop sending me bills for water dat I ain’t use. If wanna don’t stop de mismanagement of dis hey lil Country, wanna gine cause a mass exodus or WORSE. #depeoplefedup

  5. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole October 6, 2015 at 11:19 am

    If the Minister knows that there is a risk in the reduction of rainfall tell me why he is planting king grass to feed the Cahill Plasma Gassification Plant. Tell me why he will be giving Cahill water free of cost 365 days a year for the life of the plant and Barbadians cannot get water to drink. His signature is on the letter to Clare Cowan.

  6. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole October 6, 2015 at 11:24 am

    A few weeks ago in this newspaper this Minister had the audacity to say that he knew nothing of the Cahill fiasco that he now had to do his research. He was lying there is a letter dated last year from him to Clare Cowan.


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