Editorial Staff
7 months ago

Editorial Staff
7 months ago

APUA Boss Says Maintaining Regular Water Supply Remains a Challenge

Manager of the APUA Water Business Unit Ian Lewis

​By Aabigayle McIntosh

 

Potworks Dam which usually supplies around 80 percent of the country’s water supply has been out of commission for over two years.

The last deluge that increased the level of surface water in the now-parched dam was recorded on the 10, 11, and 12 of November 2020.

And while the government has worked with the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) to construct Desalination Plants across the island in a bid to boost supply, the state utility company is not yet at the capacity to be able to fully satisfy the local demand.

Manager of the APUA Water Business Unit Ian Lewis painted that stark reality during a radio interview on Tuesday indicating that Climate Change is real and its impact is significant.

The company has come under harsh criticism from members of the general public who have complained bitterly about the limited or scarce access to water with some going weeks and days without regular supply.

They have also raised concerns about the inconsistency of the water rationing schedule which has been in place for years.

“This is not a normal situation my colleague managers in the southern islands every time they have rain they would call and say what is happening to Antigua, they have flooding and so on but, we have not had the kind of rainfall and if you ask the met office what our figures are they will tell you that we have basically been in a drought for the last 10 years.

“We have not exceeded our average annual production in maybe four of those last ten years we have been below average, and in Antigua, we require substantial runoff to really add resources to our surface water treatment catchment and it is also affecting our groundwater,” Lewis said.

He further stated,” We have had three- or six-month periods but never so long., I also know that a lot of our customers complain that the only water they have in their cisterns is from APUA we are not even getting heavy enough rainfall to recharge cisterns. We are having a high demand because of climate change and therefore the burden on the APUA water business unit is even higher”.

The Water Manager said while the authority is constructing more Reverse Osmosis plants, keeping up with the demand continues to be challenging.

He is, however, optimistic that the Bethesda plant, which is expected to come on stream shortly, will provide much-needed relief to households on the island.

According to Lewis, the plant will provide a total production of an additional 3.2 million gallons to maintain a more frequent supply to homes.

4 Comments

  1. Themb

    Its gonna always be a challenge to maintain regular water. I think you all are getting better and doing a great job.

    Reply
  2. Mae

    They need to get more water storage facilities constructed and installed on the island in the different communities or constituencies. Government ministers and APUA management have travel around the world and I am sure that they have seen big large water storage tanks/facilities installed in different counties or areas. These are water storage facilities implemented and executed for backup purposes whenever maintenance are being carry out on a RO plants or water main distribution lines.
    The supply lines in Antigua communities should not take more than a few hours to repairs whenever it arise once parts are available on hand. Another thing with APUA, their inventory stock level should always have critical and non-critical parts on hand at all times for emergency, urgent and routine repairs and replacement work.
    Well trained Antiguan for over 25 years living and working in Texas at a Reverse Osmosis Plant. For example, there are 2 to 3 million gallons water storage tanks/facilities installed throughout Texas. Yes, there are dams and rivers also something Antigua doesn’t have compared to the other Caribbean islands that have rivers like Dominica, St Lucia, Jamaica, St Vincent, etc.

    Reply
  3. seems to me

    We maybe need to plant some more trees as well?

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      Aruba is the dryest Caribbean island with an average rainfall of about 2in .Yet they don’t have a water problem because the government made sure it has enough desalination plants and storage facilities to take care of its citizens. Why can’t Antigua do the same.

      Reply

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