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The department’s manager, T. Dennison Paul, said that he has been at the Water Services Department for the past 34 years and has never seen this low level rainfall in St. Kitts. He said that consumers must change their attitudes and habits with respect to how they use water.
To reinforce his point, he mentioned that the population of Antigua is about 80,000 and they use four to 4.5 million gallons of water per day. Conversely, with a population estimate of 35,000 persons on St. Kitts, consumers use about six million gallons of water.
“Why do we waste water? Because for years water was reliable,” Mr. Paul said, noting that in recent times a water rationing system became necessary to protect what is now a reduced supply based on below average levels of rainfall.
Mr. Paul added that the “culture of waste” is also encouraged by the low tariff for water in St. Kitts. Residential rates listed by the Water Services Department show that $0.72 is charged per 100 gallons of water for monthly totals less than 5,000 gallons. Usage greater than 7,000 gallons is charged at $1.20 per 100 gallons.
“The water is cheap,” the water manager stressed. “Dominica has 365 rivers [and] they pay more for water than we do.”
However, Mr. Paul said that he is not advocating for a general increase in the tariff rates but he feels that persons who can afford to pay more should do so.
In the meantime, the WSD will be working to promote conservation practices and the sustainable use of water resources among consumers. This is the primary purpose of a WaterCade that will be held on Saturday, April 28. The messages will also be prominently featured during visits to schools and businesses, including the light manufacturing plants at the C. A. Paul Southwell Industrial Park.
The activities are part of a number of events planned to celebrate World Water Day, which is observed annually on March 22. The events began on March 18 and run up to April 28, 2018.