Basseterre, St.Kitts (ZIZ News January 30, 2016) – With most experts predicting drought conditions in the Caribbean to continue throughout the first half of 2016, the Minister of Public Infrastructure, the Hon. Ian Liburd says his government is continuing its efforts to find additional water sources.
Last year, the Water Services Department was forced to introduce a water rationing system, as St. Kitts and Nevis is experiencing a water shortage.
Minister Liburd said there are presently two options being considered by the Cabinet to address this problem, noting “one option is to drill two wells north of the airport. We estimated that we can get 900 thousand gallons from those wells at a reasonable cost. Cabinet looked at that proposal, agreed to it in principle. The other alternative is reverse osmosis or desalination.”
Desalination is the process of removing dissolved salts from water, producing fresh water from seawater and Minister Liburd believes this is a viable option.
He said, “we are aware that there is a desalination plant; a reverse osmosis plant; in the La Valle, it’s been there seven or eight years doing nothing. We know that there are issues with the National Bank and so on in terms of the property and how it’s mortgaged, so that’s an alternative we’ve looked at, if at all, and we should be able to, get that plant.”
The Minister continued “We have looked at the relocation, we have not established a cost but we have looked at the relocation of that plant moving to the Basseterre area to augment the source here in the well field as well and it is estimated that we can get approximately just over 1.5 million gallons. Once we sort out the legal issues with that plant down there at La Valle, we can bring that on stream as well.”
He said they have also discussed using mobile reverse osmosis plants as a possible alternative.