Hydrogeologist Cromwell Williams Says Increase in Demand Versus Supply Over Decades Is Reasoning Behind Water Rationing

Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 23, 2023 (SKNIS): Hydrogeologist and Manager at the St. Kitts Water Services Department (WSD), Cromwell Williams explained that the reasoning behind the water rationing in recent years is a direct result of the increase in demand.

He said during the popular radio and television show ‘InFocus’ that “When looking at the development of St. Kitts over the past 30 years, from the 90s to now, housing took off … and so our demand for water has increased drastically over the past 30 years and so we tried our best to keep pace in terms of being able to supply additional water.”

“Our well-drilling programme over the past decade is the main reason why we are able to meet most of our demand today because we were drilling new wells and bringing new water online,” said Mr. Williams.

He added that the WSD is in a state where it is not able to meet a 24-hour supply and must incur rationing by closing the reservoirs at night. He further explained that the wells are still pumping water into the reservoirs, but the reservoirs can recover and build up from empty to full.

“We open early in the morning so that everyone can get an opportunity to get some water but because the rate of draw-off is higher than the rate at which we are able to produce the water from the wells and the surface sources, the reservoirs’ levels will drop by evening and so we go through that cycle in some areas almost on a daily basis,” said Mr. Williams.

He added, “In some areas of the world, you get water every couple of days, but we are not near that, and I don’t think we will ever get near to that because we have an option in our pockets which was always desalination.”

“In countries like Antigua, they are dependent on desalination. 80% of the water Antiguans use is from desalination and so that has always been in our back pockets,” said Mr. Williams.

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