Drought takes a toll on St Kitts-Nevis

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BASSETERRE, St Kitts (CMC) – St Kitts-Nevis says it has been forced to increase water rationing and is appealing to consumers to conserve water.

The appeals to the public have not yielded the anticipated results as there is little change in the demand of almost six million gallons per day.

The twin-island Federation joins a number of Caribbean countries that have been forced to implement measures to conserve water as the drought situation worsens.

Manager of the Water Services Department, Dennison Paul, speaking on WINN FM radio here said that water has been pumped from the Basseterre Water Aquifer on a continuous basis in the past year with very little rainfall.

“We have reached a critical stage in that aquifer now where we cannot continue to pump as we were for fear of losing the aquifer. We have a responsibility to national asset and we have a responsibility to that aquifer. It provides 40 per cent of the island’s water supply,” Paul said.

He said as a result of the new measure will affect consumers in various areas of the country, who will not receive water for a seven hour period daily.

“We have made a conscious decision to reduce abstraction from the aquifer by 40 per cent…in order to protect the resource” he said.

“What we will do is shut down the system from 10.am to five pm so that we can have water stored the following day during work hours.”

Met officials have indicated that the drought conditions are not likely to end until October and that could have implications for next year.

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