Kingston’s water woes seeing end as dams near max capacity?

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr (right) shakes hands with Kerryann Hodges (second left), a resident of Dunrobin Court, during the handover of a newly installed water storage system on Wednesday (October 31). Looking on are National Water Commission (NWC) President Mark Barnett (second right) and Dunrobin Court resident, Ornette Duncan. (Photo: Micahel Sloley, JIS)

Recent rains have significantly increased storage levels at the Mona Reservoir and Hermitage Dam with the facilities nearing full capacity.

“Hermitage Dam is now above 95 per cent (or 387.2 million gallons), which is almost full and Mona, which is two times the size of Hermitage, is moving towards 90 per cent (or 661.3 million gallons),” said Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator Pearnel Charles Jr.

“So, we are sufficiently fitted with capacity. Now, we have to treat with the transmission lines and ensure that the maintenance and the management of our systems are at the appropriate standard,” he said.

The minister was speaking at the official handover of a water storage system at Dunrobin Court, St. Andrew, on Wednesday (October 30).

The system, installed by the National Water Commission (NWC), includes four 1,000-gallon water tanks and a pump at a cost of approximately $2 million. The NWC will fill the tanks three times per week.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Pearnel Charles Jr (left), looks on as Vice President, Divisional Operations, National Water Commission (NWC), Michael Dunn, points out features of the new water storage system installed at Dunrobin Court in St. Andrew. (Photo: Michael Sloley, JIS)

Dunrobin Court has been severely affected by the break in the 18-inch water transmission main along the Ferry main road, which has resulted in water shortage to a number of Corporate Area communities.

Minister Charles Jr. noted that the system installed by the NWC should provide residents with reliable access to water.

“They have been having serious challenges in this area and we know other areas have been affected. The NWC team members have been fixated on ensuring that we have an effective short-term solution,” he noted.

He assured that the Government, through the NWC, is working towards resolving the issues affecting the provision of consistent water supply to the affected areas.

“We have all agreed to a revised and more effective way to move forward with the project with increased consultation between the parties and with some timelines,” he said.

Senator Pearnel Charles Jr. adjusts a hose being used to fill newly installed water tanks at Dunrobin Court in St. Andrew on Wednesday (Photo: Michael Sloley, JIS)

“Let me assure you that the Prime Minister, the government, and our agencies; we understand the frustrations and we are committed to doing all that is necessary to get the work done in a timely manner,” he added.

Meanwhile, Dunrobin Court residents, Mardio Martin and Kerryann Hodges, welcomed the installation of the water storage system by the NWC.

“The last time we had water for an entire day was last year, so we hope this will improve the supply,” Hodges said.

“It’s a good thing. We are just hoping now that it will allow us to have water more often,” Martin added.

— JIS