NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (October 05, 2018) — The following is the full text of a speech delivered by Hon. Spencer Brand, Minister of Water Services in Nevis at the handing over ceremony of the Bedrock Exploration and Development Technologies (BEAD) wells to the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) at Maddens Estate on October 05, 2018
We are gathered here at Maddens Estate on this day October, 05, 2018, to conduct a very important exercise, and that is to accept the handover of the BEAD wells (two operational and the other off-line non-operational wells) to the Nevis Island Administration, on completion of a 10-year agreement between Bead LLC and the NIA through the Ministry of Water Services.
This is significant because it means that the NIA would now have full control over the entire water supply on Nevis. The BEAD wells supply a significant amount of the total water production on the island, with the capacity of 237 imperial gallons per minute at this well here at Maddens Estate and 275 imperial gallons per minute at Fothergills Estate in Gingerland.
I would like to thank BEAD LLC for being in this Public Private Partnership agreement, and for fulfilling your legal obligations under the contract which was risky but valuable for both parties, and commend them for their professionalism over the years.
For those who may not be aware, BEAD took the risks of exploration, identifying, drilling, testing and developing the water wells and provided the equipment including the pumps and standby generators, pump stations and all the capital costs involved in realizing the wells.
The NIA provided the concessions on imported equipment and materials for the project, and paid for the supply of water at a rate US$2.50 per 1000 IMG initially, then US$1.85 per 1000 IMG later in the agreement. BEAD has therefore left an indelible mark in the history of supplying potable water on Nevis.
There are still some obligations to be fulfilled by BEAD on the island, in that, the NIA entered into an agreement with the company last year 2017, to supply at least a half million imperial gallons per day to the Nevis Water Department (NWD) by identifying, drilling, developing, building pump stations and installing the necessary equipment for the water wells, and immediately turn over the successful wells to the NIA. We anxiously await a speedy successful delivery of this contract.
Let me also thank and commend the Nevis Water Department Team under the leadership of Mr. Roger Hanley, Manager and his crew, for ensuring that we had a smooth implementation of the agreement.
I would like to single out Mr. Jerome Pinney, former Pump Technician who worked tirelessly with a team of young dedicated technicians and with BEAD over the past 10 years, to ensure that there was transfer of skills and that the interest of the NIA was protected.
Mr. Pinney has now fully retired but we want to express thanks and appreciation for his sterling contribution to the NWD and Nevis in general. Mr. Pinney is the most experienced Pump Technician in the Federation, having worked both in St. Kitts and later in Nevis, a career spanning some 50 years in the water sector.
In addition to owning and controlling 100 percent of the production of water supply, ownership of the BEAD wells will bring some saving to the NIA. The average monthly payment to BEAD ranges from US$35,000 to US$55,000 depending on water demand.
This however, does not necessarily translate into a lower rate for water to consumers as all the costs associated with labour, equipment, parts, supplies, repairs and consumables will now be assumed by the NIA; including the cost of maintaining the standby generators and the new wells which we expect to come on stream at the end of the second contract with BEAD.
In fact, we are working with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) as an independent agency, for them to provide technical assistance to the NIA to conduct a Water Tariff Study, so that we can ascertain the true cost of producing water, and what consumers should pay to cover this cost, taking into consideration other factors and variables. This I think is the correct approach before any further adjustments can be made in our water rates.
It is important for me to remind all, that water is the most important ‘public good’ on Nevis. Without it no one can survive. Water is life. Let us not take it for granted. We have come a long way as an island in term of the supply of water.
The NIA has taken deliberate steps to improve the water distribution system on Nevis. This is seen in, for example, the scope of works in the soon to be concluded Nevis Water Supply Enhancement Project funded by the CDB.
Your government is also working on securing additional supplies of water, and will continue to work to protect and manage our water resources.
However, we as consumers must practice water conservation and exercise care and responsibility in our usage of this precious commodity.
Nevis is playing its part in achieving sustainable development goal #6, that is, “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” but we need all to work together towards socio-economic sustainable development for all.
Finally, the NIA pledges its support to the NWD as they now take over the BEAD wells. I am confident that the NWD will do an excellent job in ensuring that these wells continue to supply potable water for the people of Nevis.
Again I say thanks to BEAD LLC for their partnership and good working relations over the years and we wish you success in your future endeavours.