by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Water woes continue in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
According to the St. Kitts Water Services Department, from January to May, St. Kitts received 60% of the average rainfall for this period.
International weather experts officially announced the start of El Niño on June 8, which refers to warmer than usual ocean surface temperatures near the equator in the Pacific Ocean.
Research has shown that the Caribbean is prone to be dry, or even ‘very dry’, during an El Niño event. The weather phenomenon is also associated with fewer hurricanes due to less than conducive conditions for development caused by stronger upper atmospheric winds. However, the warm Caribbean Sea could provide opportunities for very strong hurricanes to develop, despite El Niño’s negating effect.
With less rain falling compared to the same period last year combined with El Niño water rationing may likely be the norm for the Federation, especially during the summer months.
The St. Kitts Water Services Department has indicated that a water rationing schedule has been put in place where water would be closed off from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. in the Basseterre (St. Peters, Cedar Grove, St. Johnsons Village and Bird Rock), Cayon, and Newton Ground areas.
Currently, conservation and the use of water catchment devices/services are the methods being advocated for citizens to cope with the current water issue.
Additionally, citizens and residents are asked to check their premises for leaks and repair them immediately. Anyone who fails to have their leaks repaired will be disconnected.
The Water Services Department says it is taking steps to increase water production capacity to enable a 24-hour supply, especially during the annual Dry-Season.