No charges yet under hose ban

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Acting CEO of WASA Kelvin Romain speaks during WASA’s dry-season management plan press conference at Caroni Water Treatment Plant, Golden Grove Road, Piarco on March 5. – Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

NO one has been charged as yet for non-compliance with the Water and Sewerage Authority’s (WASA’s) hose ban instituted a week ago.

The ban went into effect on March 5 and will continue until June.

WASA’s acting CEO Kelvin Romain told Newsday on March 13 in previous years, people have been fined $75 for breaching the ban but the company is more focused on prevention than prosecution.

“The intention is not to go and charge people and seize hoses. We really want to encourage a culture of, you know, prudency as I said, you know, in the way we use the limited resource of potable water.

“It may very well happen but I rather we change our thinking and the way we look at water.”

He said this is critical as the effects of climate change continue to be felt.

He said all five reservoirs in the country are below the long-term averages for the period. Roxborough is three per cent below, Hollis by five per cent, Caroni-Arena by 13 per cent and Navet by 10 per cent. Although the levels were below long-term averages over the last three years, he said the margins were smaller.

Romain promised to provide historical reservoir level data on Thursday.

He attributed the decreased levels to climate change and wastage, especially by those who receive a more regular supply.

He said water is also lost through leaky infrastructure, under-metered supply and illegal connections.

As the dry season continues over the next three months, the CEO said the authority has been working to repair its infrastructure and even doubled its fleet of water trucks from 30 to 60.

These will be used across both islands to supply customers with water once their bill is current.

WASA also adjusted its water supply schedule to customers last week to combat dry season shortages.

Most affected were those supplied by the Caroni and Arena reservoirs. Production at the Caroni-Arena plant was decreased from 75 million gallons per day to 65 million.

“That ten million gallons will have some effect on our system in both in north and south. That plant supports and supplies both north and south Trinidad…supporting just over 600,000 customers.

“So we expect with that shortfall we have to make some adjustments to our schedule as well.”

He said the authority tried not to adjust the supply to customers who were receiving water in longer intervals like once every nine days.

Romain last week warned that this dry season could see the worst drought ever. As such, he described the plans for the dry season as “dynamic.

“I mean, it’s not an exact science. And there’s always room for adjustments and we are just a long way of putting it. We continuously it’s a dynamic so we continuously work on it.”