Cabinet demands weekly meeting with APUA water manager, while Lovell says Cabinet is trying to shift the blame for failure

The Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) continues to fall short in its water-distribution efforts, since it is supplying only about 80 percent of consumers’ daily demand.

This week, the Cabinet met again with officials from the Authority, including the general manager, water manager and the supervisor responsible for the valves that distribute water from the Reverse Osmosis (RO) Plants.

Reportedly, the Executive was informed that the drought is getting worse, while the demand for water has increased to more than eight million gallons daily, and APUA is currently producing 6.5 million gallons at this time.

However, the Authority is planning to increase its output by adding new membranes and new filters to Unit No. 8 at Crabbes Peninsular, the Notes say.

Reportedly, the output at that plant has increased to 3.7 million gallons a day; and, according to APUA, when the other unit comes on stream from June 15, Crabbes will produce four (4) million gallons daily.

Further, APUA says the “deficit is to be cured by bringing online the new Fort James Plant that will be producing 500,000 gallons in the first phase.”

Additionally, the Bethesda plant is expected to produce three (3) million gallons a day when it is constructed; and, by regular maintenance of the Barnacle Point and Camp Blizzard plants, more water will be produced to meet the public’s demand, the Authority assures.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet is applying pressure on the utility company in a bid to have the water challenges met before year-end. 

According to this week’s Notes, the Executive has decided that – until there is sufficient water being produced – it will summon the water manager to its meeting every week.

However, Harold Lovell, Political Leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP), sees this decision by the Cabinet as an attempt to shift the blame, and he says it is disgraceful.

Lovell notes that the Gaston Browne Administration had promised to address the water situation in two weeks after it was elected. However, he says, it has failed the people by focusing its attention on other things and not this important commodity.