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No politics in water outages


No politics in water outages

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THERE IS NOTHING POLITICAL about the water woes affecting parishes to the east and north of Barbados.

Minister of Agriculture and Water Resource Management Dr David Estwick said reports in 1997 and 2006 – when the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) was in office – showed the declining state of Barbados’ water resources.

During a press briefing at the Ministry of Agriculture today, Dr Estwick said the Water Resources Management Report of 1997 said Barbados was in danger of exhausting its water resources.

According to Estwick, the study also showed when this combined with an ageing mains system, some more than 100 years old, 40 to 60 per cent of the water in the mains was being lost due to leaks.

During drought conditions, it is worse.

A further report done by the Food and Agriculture Organisation in 2006 concluded Barbados was one the world’s 15 water scarce nations and renewable resources were almost exhausted.

It said rainfall was 1.5 metres per year, which equated to 46 million gallons, but Barbadians were consuming 45 million gallons per year.

Dr Estwick said during “extreme drought conditions”, the Barbados Water Authority can’t pump fresh water at the same rate because salt water would intrude into the system and destroy it permanently.

He said the BLP had nothing little to correct the problem, but the Democratic Labour Party was now undertaking a major mains replacement programme. Estwick said he had also approved the construction of two salt water desalination plants to provide medium and long term relief. (SAT)