Desalination Reliance Likely with Decreasing Rainfall

by Merv-Ann Thompson

Reliance on desalination to meet the federation’s potable water needs will be the likely result of decreasing rainfall if the patterns of rainfall over the past decade continue.


That’s according to Director of the Water Services Department Cromwell Williams during the most recent episode of “The Waterline”, a ZIZ Radio programme.


“The reason why we are rationing is because even though we are in the rainy season, we are not getting much rainfall. And most of our water depends, well, all of our water depends on rainfall. Whether it’s groundwater or surface water, it depends on the rainfall. So we are rationing because we are not getting much rain. Compared to previous years where we were getting more rain, the rainfall is being less every year and every year. So we have to put rationing in place, so that we can have our consumers get water at appropriate times.”


Meanwhile, Ian Francis, Inspector of Pumps and Electrical gave reasons for the ongoing water rationing.


“We have seen a decrease in rainfall over the last, um, 10 years between 2020, between 2010 and 2020, roughly. We have seen about an 18 per cent decrease in rainfall. That is very troubling to us at the Water Services Department. If that pattern were to continue… We will be fast becoming more and more dependent on desalination. Because it simply means that we would not have enough potable water based on the rainfall that we’re receiving.”


There are approximately 46 wells island-wide, with 26-30 that are active, according to the Water Services Department.


Some that are inactive began producing brackish or salty water and had to be abandoned.

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