With several Reverse Osmosis (RO) plants set up at various locations across the island, and one expected to be installed in the Bethesda area this year, residents – who are already crying out for water – will be pained to learn that water-rationing measures will continue.
Reportedly, the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) has been unable to produce the commodity in a timely manner and on a daily basis, apparently due to rough seas. Reportedly, this has significantly reduced production capability from 11 million gallons a day.
However, the demand for water remains at approximately 13 million gallons daily, according to APUA. Therefore, a water-rationing schedule has had to be put in place to ensure equitable distribution “during this period of turbid seas.”
The Cabinet, during its sitting on Wednesday, March 22, is reported to have held telephone discussions with APUA General Manager Esworth Martin to discuss the Authority’s production and distribution challenges.
Martin reportedly has assured the Executive that, as the Easter/spring season approaches, the seas will become calmer, and the Reverse Osmosis Plants will be able to function at nearly 100 percent capacity.
Allegedly, it was also suggested that super filters could be attached to the intake pipes.
These would significantly reduce materials like sand, shells, pebbles and vegetation being taken in, since they can severely damage the membranes that separate the salt from the water.
Meanwhile, the Bethesda desalination plant is scheduled to be constructed near the village and is expected to produce 3.5 million gallons daily.
Officials say this will meet and exceed the current supply and demand, and will provide water to communities on that side of the island. The plant will take 10 months to erect, it was noted.
Meanwhile, the United Progressive Party’s mobilization officer, George Wehner, says the showers the country received earlier this week were welcome, since there seems to be no end to the water crisis in spite of repeated promises from the Government.