by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) – Water is life, and March 22 serves as the yearly reminder of the importance of clean, safe and accessible water for all.
World Water Day Tuesday, March 22, started in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly to promote public awareness of the significance of water.
This year’s World Water Day theme is “Groundwater; Making the Invisible Visible.”
Cromwell Williams, Manager and Water Engineer in the Water Department, highlighted the activities for this year’s observance on the March 9 broadcast of The Water Line on ZIZ.
- March 18 – Primary School Water Filtration Competition and a Staff Paint By Number Social at the Ministry Premises 12 p.m.
- March 19 – Minister’s Address Ziz Television 8 p.m. and a Cricket Match St. Kitts Water Services Department vs Nevis Water Services Department on Nevis at 3 p.m.
- March 20 – Church Services & Honoring Past Employees at the People’s Evangelistic Centre, Needsmust from 9:30 a.m.
- March 22 – Customer Appreciation at the Main Office (Needsmust) & Post Office Branch (Bay Road) from 8 a.m.
- March 23 – Radio Appearance & Raffle Prizes on The Water Line Radio Show – Ziz from 10 30 a.m.
- March 25 – Walk To Morne Peak’s Water Storage Tank starting from the Water Services Department at 4:30 p.m.
- March 27 – Football Match: St. Kitts Water Services Department vs Nevis Water Services Department on the Flow Grounds from 3 p.m.
Williams reminded the general public that water is not limitless, and while it is a natural resource, the provision of clean, usable water will incur costs.
“We all must appreciate, of course, that the process of capturing the water, whether we capture it from a well, or we capture it from a spring or a river in the hills /n the mountain, the process of piping that water and treating that water and bringing it to your tap involves quite a lot of work. Because of that, I believe that the principle is there should be cost recovery, meaning that the customers that benefit from that service should pay for the costs of providing that service. So it’s not ever about making a profit, but there should be cost recovery.”
Consumers of water play a part in the limitation of accessing water, especially with the increase in population and new residential and commercial developments and meeting the demands of that increase in the need for water.
“We actually ended up running out of water to keep the 24/7 supply, so the customers definitely a role to play in it… I think if there’s no charge [for] the water supply, the customers [wouldn’t] really care. So apart from paying the workers, the government getting the money to pay the workers, to maintain this resource, [it is also something] for the customers to think about; because the more water they use, the more money they have to spend,” said Malcolm Herbert Clerk of Works with the Water Department.