WASA implements Water Supply Management Plan
The Water and Sewerage Authority (the Authority) wishes to advise customers and the general public that it has implemented its Water Supply Management Plan for the 2019 Dry Season. This is in view of the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service forecast for a harsh 2019 Dry Season and most recent drought warning, which has already adversely affected water supply availability at several water treatment facilities throughout Trinidad and Tobago.
It should be noted that the Authority’s plan aims to address the management of the country’s water resources under three core areas i.e. Supply, Unaccounted For Water (UFW) and Demand as follows:
With respect to managing the supply of water abstracted, produced and distributed to customers, the Authority has already been engaging several measures including the following:
- Supply Redistribution: This entails the redistribution of water from unaffected areas with high pressures, to more water stressed areas located on the periphery of the water distribution system. To accomplish this, Water Supply Schedules will be amended based on shortfalls and existing demand. The amended schedules will be published on the Authority’s website, Facebook and Twitter pages from Friday 1st March, 2019.
- Reservoir Management: The use of water from our four main impounding reservoirs i.e. Arena, Navet, Hollis and Hillsborough, is being closely monitored and managed to ensure water availability throughout the Dry Season.
- Increased Ground Water Production: Steps are being taken to ensure optimum water production is obtained from our ground water sources, by closely monitoring and servicing existing wells equipment.
- Maintain Desal Supply: The Authority has been in discussions with Desalcott – owners of the Point Lisas Desalination Plant and Seven Seas International – owners of the Point Fortin Desalination Plant, about taking the necessary steps to guarantee optimization of their plant operations and production during the period.
- Plant Asset Maintenance: Arrangements are in place ensure that the Authority’s plants are able to operate at optimal levels and there is minimal downtime for necessary repairs.
- Increased Water Trucking: The Authority’s water trucking fleet will be expanded during the Dry Season, in order to cater for greater demand from harshly impacted communities/ customers.
Unaccounted For Water (UFW)
Unaccounted For Water (UFW) is water produced and sent into the Authority’s pipeline network, however it does not get to our intended customers for various reasons. The Authority has been ramping up its efforts to reduce the amount of UFW along its transmission and distribution network by addressing the following areas of water loss in its system:
- Enhanced Leak Repairs: The Authority has been doubling its efforts to reduce the number of leaks along the pipeline network. This is an area that will continue to receive close attention and customers are encouraged to report all leaks by using the WASA App or calling our Customer Call Centre toll-free at 800-4420/4426.
- Illegal Water Trucking & Connections: The Authority has mobilized its security services to increase its response to these illegal acts, however we also need the assistance of the public to report such activities. In relation to water trucking, it is illegal for any privately operated water truck to fill up at a hydrant and then proceed to deliver that water to persons for a fee. It is important to note that apart from illegally stealing water, trucks that use certain hydrants to fill may also be affecting the pressures on the system, which in turn may impact our ability to provide a pipe borne water supply to some customers. Anyone observing such activities are asked to take the vehicle number or a picture of the truck and report it via our Call Centre or Facebook page.
Illegal water connections is another means by which the actions of others can affect the Authority’s ability to provide a water supply to its legitimate customers. This is because persons with illegal connections are drawing water from the system and not paying for it, while paying customers further along the same system may be unable to receive a supply. From March 1st the Authority’s Security Officers will be out in full force to treat with persons who have illegal connections to WASA’s water distribution systems. This follows the expiration of the current amnesty, which ends on 28th February, 2019.
A key component of the Authority’s water management plan involves customers and their willingness and ability to conserve and reduce their water usage, in order to assist in ensuring a sustainable supply throughout this Dry Season.
- Water Conservation: It is critical to note that we all have an important role to play in effectively managing our available water resources, to ensure that there is a sustained supply throughout this Dry Season. Apart from WASA and its areas of responsibility, customers and members of the public also have a key role, which involves employing water conservation habits in their daily lives. This may include simple adjustments in how we use water such as:
- Shortening showers to 3 – 5 minutes;
- Closing the tap while brushing your teeth;
- Washing only full loads and using that water to wet plants;
- Using a broom instead of the hose to clean your yard;
- Using a bucket to wash the car.
- Water Use Restrictions: In spite of how much we may plea with persons to be cognizant of the existing conditions and the need to conserve their water usage, there are always those who need additional encouragement to do what is right. The Authority therefore instituted water use restrictions in accordance with the Water and Sewerage Act Chapter 54:40, which took effect from mid-night on 28th January, 2019. It should be noted that this also applies to the spraying of water or similar type activity at Carnival ‘Wet’ Fetes. In this regard, the promoters of such events are advised to desist from engaging in such activities as the Authority has been monitoring these events and is prepared to pursue relevant actions as provided under the law, against persons involved in utilizing water as described above, at Carnival ‘Wet’ Fetes.