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South St. George to get water relief

Acting General Manager (NAWASA) Terrence Smith

Grenadian can breathe a sigh of relief in the upcoming months as the National Water and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA) embarks on various initiatives to deal with the water issues throughout the state especially the south of the island.

Speaking on Grenada’s current state of water supply, Acting General Manager of NAWASA Terrence Smith admitted that the state-controlled utility has not been able to “satisfy the demand” when it comes to providing water for customers.

“About three, 3 1/2 weeks ago it became obvious to us in NAWASA that we were in the dry season because the production of our plants began to fall (due to) the sudden and alarming drop in the level of dams,” he said.

“This happens every year. It has happened every year (that we have not been able to satisfy the demand for drinking water during the dry season. The single most affected area…tends to be the south of the island, various residential areas, industrial areas tend to be affected. There are other pockets of efficiency in supply,” he added.

According to Smith, it is the intention of NAWASA to take a more active approach to mitigating the island’s water issues.

“This year, 2024, we can expect a difference, a measured difference I would say in terms of NAWASA response,” he remarked.

The sentiments of rain harvesting were echoed by the Acting General Manager as he highlighted the “difference” in dealing with the dry season effectively now in comparison to before.

“When we realised a couple of weeks ago (we were) into the dry season, we recommissioned our dry season response team. We are going to be meeting on a weekly basis throughout the dry season. We are in the process of updating (and) revising our dry season response plan.

“Thirdly, NAWASA is now going to be promoting rainwater harvesting. We are going to be advocating the mainstreaming of rainwater harvesting by residential customers as well as farmers as well as indeed (the) hotel sector.

Smith assured customers that the water utility would be taking a hands-on approach despite the challenges of the dry season.

“…We are in the dry season. There will be customers, particularly in the South whose 24/7 water supply is going to be adversely affected. We are trying this year to be prepared a little quicker and coming out at the blocks a little faster, and trying to be a bit more proactive in terms of our public communications…,” he said.

Speaking on the $125 million German funded G-CREWS project, Manager of Planning and Development at NAWASA Whyme Cox informed the gathering that the project is not going to rectify all the water issues plaguing the state.

“…It’s not going to fix all of our issues but it’s definitely going to help and we’re proud to see that today we’ve started a major implementation of that project. That project is going to add some 6,000,000 gallons of treated water across the island,” he said.

“(There are) so much needed areas where we normally have issues. The higher elevation areas that we want to be installed in tanks and the number of these areas of facilities distribution. Issues that we normally have during the dry season,” he added.

In addition, Cox stated that customers will have to wait for 2025 to see the “benefits” of the initiative being enacted presently.

He expressed gratitude to the various stakeholders such as the Green Climate Fund which have contributed to the project.

“Seeing that you’ll have to bear with us one more year in terms of the issues, but definitely we’ve identified it over the years and appreciate that as an organization, as a responsible organisation, we had to come up with solutions and so on and we have been doing that,” he said.

Cox stressed that solutions will be implemented to assist the higher areas around the islands since they are the most vulnerable.

“We come in slowly but surely. In implementing them, there are always a number of issues huddled and procedures that often delay the project…we’re collectively looking at a lot of different initiatives to use all of this bottleneck so that our projects can be implemented,” he remarked.

Urging Grenadians to utilise storage, Communications Supervisor at NAWASA Jamila Lewis said that the company believes that using different storage methods is imperative during the dry season.

“The priority for NAWASA this time is storage and that is one of our greatest challenges in the dry season when our consumers don’t have adequate storage. We would like persons to think about storage and that is what we are really clamouring for again for 2024.”

“…When we are providing (water) you don’t have the adequate storage and we don’t have the resources of four or five or six water trucks. We are asking persons if you have not yet considered procuring water storage tanks or just having some additional barrels, drums, etcetera, please consider that as a priority.”

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