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CWSA extends water rationing to help negate worst drought in years

CWSA  extends water rationing to help negate worst drought in years
Garth Saunders, the Chief Executive Officer

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The Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA) is now no longer able to supply over 50 per cent of its customers with the customary 24 hours- 7 days a week service.

Garth Saunders, the Chief Executive Officer, in a release issued Wednesday said St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is in the midst of one of its worst droughts in recent history.

He said for the first four months of 2020, all five of the CWSA’s major water systems have on average experienced rainfall amounts totalling 40 per cent below the 10-year average.

Rainfall for April was 60 per cent below the average monthly figure, while rainfall for the current month of May has fallen from 248mm in 2019 to just 48 mm in 2020.

“At present, the CWSA is operating at 35% of its capacity at these five sources and is now no longer able to supply over 50% of its customers with the customary 24 hours- 7 days a week service,” the release said.

The CWSA has now joined its neighbours; Barbados, St. Lucia, Grenada and Trinidad in once again implementing an extended system of water rationing to try, as far as possible, to achieve an equitable distribution of water during a 24- hour period.

The CWSA said it will continue to communicate its water rationing schedule to the public via radio and on its Facebook page.

“The CWSA further wishes to advise that, given the unpredictability of water use and the continuing reduction in river flows, that there is no guarantee that the CWSA may always meet the scheduled times for turning on and off of the supplies.

Customers are therefore asked to store sufficient water at their homes to cater for this inconvenience.

“The CWSA appreciates the understanding of its customers and looks forward to a gradual improvement in rainfall patterns and water supply in the coming weeks,” the release said.

From a regional perspective, the Barbados Meteorological Services has reported that the drought conditions being experienced so far, are the worst in 72 years and international experts have indicated that the low rainfall totals are expected to continue into 2020.

Two weeks ago, the severe water shortage prompted the declaration of a Water Emergency in Saint Lucia and a prediction of a rainfall deficit into August.

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