Relief is coming to Tobago, with several measures being put in place to ease the island’s water woes.
That’s the assurance to Tobagonians in what has been forecast as another harsh dry season. The problem is being exacerbated by the limited rainfall in 2015, which has not replenished the island’s surface water stores.
On Tuesday (February 23), Minister of Public Utilities retired Brigadier General Ancil Antoine, visited THA Chief Secretary Orville London at the Calder Hall Administrative Complex on Tuesday. This followed a meeting with Secretary of Infrastructure and Public Utilities Councillor Gary Melville and a battery of executives of the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA).
Following the meeting, Antoine told reporters at a media conference that Tobago has enough water to meet the needs of its residents. He said the key is to manage the available resources.
Among the measures WASA announced are activating of eight test wells that were drilled last year at Roxborough, Goldsborough, Mary’s Hill, Mt Marie, Carnbee, Arnos Vale and Calder Hall and Signal Hill. Each well has a production capacity of at least 500,000 gallons per day. WASA will also reduce the number of leaks in the water system so that it will be able to respond to reports of leaks within a day.
Antoine is also asking the population to be mindful of the need to conserve water.
The Minister also disclosed that land at the Cove Eco Business and Industrial Park (CEIBP) has been identified for a water desalination plant to bolster the island’s water supply. Another option is the de-silting of the Hillsborough Dam. WASA is seeking to do the job in-house because of the high cost. Raffie David, acting director of operations at WASA, said the Authority has the resources to do the job.
Acting Director of Operations at WASA Raffie David added that the utility will double its fleet to ten water trucks in Tobago to reduce the backlog of requests for truck-borne water.
Assemblyman Gary Melville said the Assembly will distribute storage tanks, pipes and pumps to residents of Hermitage in north east Tobago. The village will soon be provided with a pipe-borne water supply for the first time.