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Water conservation and bush fires

Water conservation and bush fires

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The dry season is already affecting river flows at all of the major water catchments on the mainland, with the worst affected being the Montreal source, which has experienced a 70 per cent reduction, according to official reports.

Yesterday, the Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA) expanded its water rationing program to include more areas and additional times of the day. Blessed as we are on the mainland, with an abundance of clean, potable water for most of the year, our reliable water supply is usually taken for granted, with some, especially users of public facilities, wasting the precious resource. In acknowledgement of this, the CWSA has asked the public to report roadside leaks and to avoid wastage especially at public institutions and schools. The CWSA has also advised residents of the areas affected by rationing to activate emergency water storage plans. We ought to pay attention to the advisories from the CWSA and to encourage everyone around us to do the same.

But as usual, the dry season is unfortunately being accompanied by an upsurge in bush fires, many of which the fire department suspect are being deliberately set. As at the middle of last month, there had been 17 bush fires for the year, and the fire department has embarked on a education program to try to get communities to join them in the fight to prevent bush fires and bring perpetrators to justice.

In a recent interview with SEARCHLIGHT, the head of the Fire Department noted that in the Grenadines, where water supply is limited, fires are rarely set. So why then do we have this culture of setting bush fires during the dry season on the mainland?

When one hears of reports such as that issued recently by the fire department, we wonder if the message for the need to conserve water, and of the danger of bush fires is getting to those who really need to hear it.

These bush fires not only endanger life and property, but they force our Fire Department to use hundreds of gallons of precious water in fighting these fires. Fire is not something that should be played with. The persons setting such fires may find it amusing to have our firefighters running back and forth outing fires, but they may just be playing with their own lives and the lives of their loved ones.

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