The Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation is actively exploring strategies to diversify the country’s water sources in order to ensure sustainability in supply over the long-term.
Portfolio Minster, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., said that the country’s reliance on rainfall as the primary source of water “makes us extremely vulnerable”. “To properly address the water issue, we have to do things differently. This means that we are coming up with ways to transform our water system,” he said.
“In doing things differently, we are moving to identify new wells and technology solutions that are effective and affordable to reduce the country’s reliance on rainfall,” he added.
Senator Charles Jr. who has responsibility for Water, Housing and Infrastructure, was addressing a Think Tank on Thursday (September 12) at the JIS headquarters in Kingston.
His remarks come against the background of water restrictions across the island over the past several months due to a shortage in supply as a result of dry conditions.
He noted that the Government, along with the relevant agencies, has been examining the country’s water infrastructure and is committed to upgrading the system over time.
“We have an antiquated water infrastructure and we are investing to modernise the system. It is going to take time and it will be an expensive venture, but it needs to be done,” he pointed out.
“There is significant need for us to upgrade the water transmission system in Jamaica, and this must be coupled with improved management and maintenance. We have already adjusted our maintenance policies and have started looking at best practices that will allow for us to be more proactive,” Senator Charles Jr. added.
Meanwhile, he told JIS News that the National Water Commission (NWC) is looking to shortly commence work on a US$60-million improvement project from Six Miles to North Street.