Cabinet Approves Declaration Of Water-Related Emergency – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

On Monday, Saint Lucia’s Cabinet of Ministers approved declaring a water-related emergency, the fourth in the past ten years, as the country experiences rainfall scarcity and water supply challenges.

Water and Sewerage Company Inc. (WASCO) Chief Executive Officer Zilta George-Leslie announced the Cabinet declaration at a News Conference on Tuesday.

She said once the Gazette publishes the order, someone who contravenes the measure would commit an offence.

 Upon summary conviction, the offender would be liable to a fine of not less than $3,000 or imprisonment of not less than six months, or both.

The WASCO CEO revealed that a further fine of not less than $50 would be imposed for each day the breach continues.

“All consumers of potable water in Saint Lucia are therefore urged to restrict the use of potable water for non-potable uses,” George-Leslie told reporters.

She said WASCO recommends essential usage as water necessary to sustain human life, domestic animals’ lives, and maintain hygiene and sanitation standards.

There would be restrictions on activities including  using potable water to water lawns, pressure wash, mix concrete, and fill swimming pools.

George-Leslie said that as of Tuesday, May 14, the John Compton Dam reported water levels of 318.6 feet – 14.4 feet below the spillway, dropping six inches daily.

She revealed that the Hill 20 system had shown a fifty percent reduction.

WASCO’s Southern intake reduction ranges from 29 percent in Thomazo to 80 percent in some areas.

As a result, the water utility has announced plans to implement dry season mitigation measures and start islandwide sharing as part of its commitment to ‘responsible resource management.’

The company has also implemented a comprehensive valving schedule to ensure the long-term viability of dry season water supply and will truck water to certain areas.

In addition, WASCO has increased by three, the number of crews dealing with leak repairs to ensure timely responses to complaints.