Farmers applying to WASA for abstraction licences
The Water and Sewerage Authority (the Authority) recognizes the efforts by farmers to obtain abstraction licences for the abstraction of water from water courses for irrigation purposes. In the last few days, over three hundred (300) farmers have applied to the Water Resources Agency for licences and the process has commenced for the issuance of same. The Authority acknowledges the efforts of Pundit Satyanand Maharaj on behalf of the Aranguez farmers in this regard.
In view of this development, the Authority is not desirous of pursuing the charges against the farmers and will return the seized pump equipment. The Authority wishes to acknowledge and thank the Minister of Public Utilities, Senator the Honourable Robert Le Hunte, for his intervention in this matter.
In view of the above, the Authority also wishes to advise that, with immediate effect, it will, at this time, cease actions in relation to the unauthorised abstraction of water for irrigation purposes where the abstraction does not impact on the operations of its facilities.
The Authority encourages farmers who are abstracting water without authorization to ensure they are registered with the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries and apply at its Water Resources Agency for licences to permit the sanitary use of such water. The Authority reserves the right to resume enforcement activities as authorized by law, in the public interest if deemed necessary.
The Authority notes that an extended harsh dry season (as has been reported by the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service [TTMS] and Barbados - based Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology [CIMH]) is impacting the Caribbean region. Accordingly Water Use Restrictions announced on January 28, 2019 remain in force until further notice.