CDB/NIA funded water expansion project gearing up on Nevis
NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (SEPTEMBER 09, 2013) — The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)-funded $30million Water Enhancement Project on Nevis continues and contracts have been awarded for the three main parts of the venture.
Project Coordinator for the CDB/Nevis Island Administration (NIA) Project Management Unit, Mr. Brian Kennedy told the Department of Information in an interview on September 04, 2013, the status of the project.
“We’re at the stage where we are awarding contracts for the three main parts of the project. That is the storage tanks, six reservoirs, one at Maddens, Camps, Spring Hill, Fothergills, Stoney Hill and Morgan Estate. Six new reservoirs, three new pumping stations- Camps, Fothergills and Pond Hill and over 100,000 feet of pipe, that’s approximately 20 miles of pipe to add to the approximately 100 miles of pipes existing.
“The first payments are being organised to the contractors, to the suppliers who won the bids. Jamaica Drip Irrigation, they won the award for the pipes and for the pumps and FDL Consult Inc. from St. Lucia won the award for the six tanks. So we are at the stage now where we’re anticipating the receipts of the materials which we estimate to be between now and November/December but the actual pipes which are going to take the longest won’t be here till about November,” he said.
According to Mr. Kennedy, although the entire project costs $30 million some of that figure would be shouldered by the NIA and some will be grant funds.
“The total value of the project is about EC$30million. Of that, the CDB will be putting in about 80 percent and the NIA will be putting in the counterpart financing, the remaining 20 percent. Now of that 80 percent the CDB is putting in 64 percent which will be at ordinary interest rates and 13 percent would be what you might call soft loan terms and three percent will be grants,” he said.
Mr. Kennedy explained that on completion, the project would provide a more reliable water system which would have the capacity to move water from one end of the island to the other as the demand dictated. It would not, however, be putting in any water to the existing water system.
“Water is like, unlike electricity, in that you can buy another generator and put it in the power station if your demand increases. With water you have to find the water so we had an extensive programme of underground drilling to find the water and in  an additional one million gallons per day of water was found, half a million gallons in Fothergills and another half a million gallons per day in the Maddens areas and there is no way we could move that water through the existing system,” he said.
At present the production capacity of the Nevis Water Department is 2.5 million gallons of water per day and the daily demand on average is 1.5million gallons. That figure increased up to 2million gallons per day during the dry season which coincides with the high tourist season that would allow the demand to peak over 2million gallons.
Other components of the project would be the Network Upgrade and Capacity Building Mr. Kennedy noted.
“This will include staff training, improving the billing and accounting. CDB will provide transition consultants, which haven’t been selected as yet, for the duration of about two years. That’s actually being granted and that would assist the NIA in the transition of the present Water Department to a new entity that is more efficient and more in line with what the CDB wants to see in the process of funding the project,” he said.