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16% of T&T getting continuous pipe-borne, potable water

THE Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) said yesterday some 16% of T&T is currently receiving a continuous supply of pipe-borne, potable water.

This was revealed to a Joint Select Committee (JSC) of the Parliament, which is carrying out an “Enquiry into Management of WASA with specific reference to the 2020 Cabinet Sub-Committee’s Report on WASA and related recommendations”.

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The Authority, in the meantime, continues to face challenges in production and distribution, with acting chief executive officer Sherland Sheppard stating that some 40 to 50 per cent of the network’s potable water is lost in distribution.

Sheppard, under questioning from United National Congress (UNC) Senator Anil Roberts, also said he did not believe that repairing the network’s leaks was enough to solve problems meeting demand versus supply.

WASA’s infrastructure currently sports 3,169 leaks, a representative had stated in response to Roberts.

Roberts later asked what was the percentage of the population receiving a “24/7” supply of pipe-borne water, which WASA operations director Shaira Ali stated was around 16 per cent. Roberts asked whether the percentage had reached 74 per cent in 2014, but the committee sought to move on.

Desal in demand

WASA’s purchase of desalinated water from the Desalcott plant in Pt Lisas, as well as from another private firm, Seven Seas Water in Pt Fortin, also came under scrutiny.

The Authority, which is supposed to embark on a water management and production restructuring plan, purchases 7.44 billion imperial gallons of desalinated water for domestic and commercial use.

With a decline in recent years for a demand for industrial use, Sheppard said, the ratio has changed to 25 million gallons per day for domestic use, and 15 million for commercial.

He said there was no reduction in the amount of desalinated water being purchased because of a demand in the domestic sector.

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Sheppard disclosed that WASA pays US$1 per cubic metre for water from Desalcott and US$1.39 to ­Seven Seas Water.

Roberts also asked whether Seven Seas, a foreign company, ­receives a rebate from the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC).

16% of T&T getting continuous pipe-borne, potable water  Trinidad & Tobago Express Newspapers

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