St Elizabeth residents to harvest rainwater as drought persists
ST JAMES, Jamaica – As of September 1, it will be mandatory for all commercial and residential housing developments in St Elizabeth to have provisions for rainwater harvesting, whether or not they are connected to a central water supply system.
The policy currently requires people undertaking developments to provide their own domestic water only where there is no connection to central water systems.
However, the St Elizabeth Parish Council is advising the public that effective September 1, it will be refusing all residential and commercial building applications without evidence of a rainwater harvesting system.
Public Relations Manager for the Council, Michael McLean, told JIS News that the council will be applying retention fees to any structure or development being undertaken.
He said the new measures will impact residential building or planning applications proposing to have three habitable rooms; residential building or planning applications proposing an extension to habitable rooms of existing structure to three or more rooms; and building applications for commercial and office complex proposing to have two or more shops, which may or may not require planning approval or any other requisite permits and licensing.
“All application types mentioned and which will be made to the St Elizabeth Parish Council shall reflect the location of a roof water, catchment and tank system of a minimum capacity of 10,000 US gallons or 40 000 litres or 16 days’ supply on the site layout and location plans for the purpose of collecting and storing rainwater for potable purposes,” McLean further explained.
He stated that the applications are listed under three categories and the new fees to be applied are: Residential (single unit) – plus 50 per cent of original fee; Residential (multiple units) – plus 50 per cent, inclusive of original fee; and Commercial, Industrial, Institutional and Resort, inclusive of 100 per cent of the original fee.
The fee adjustment comes in the wake of the prolonged drought in St Elizabeth and forms part of the council’s efforts to pursue and implement initiatives to effectively address issues relating to the adequate provision of water, particularly for domestic use. (JIS)