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What’s The Real Cost of Water?

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by Devonne Cornelius

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) — The St. Kitts Water Services Department continues to educate its customers about the importance and value of water conservation.

On Saturday, March 27, two representatives from the St. Kitts Water Services Department were guests on WINNs popular “Inside The News” program where Mr. Cromwell Williams, the department’s Manager, gave detailed and in-depth information in regard to how the department has been providing water to the people of St. Kitts.

Mr. Williams took the opportunity to highlight the significant role and high dependency on electricity to supply water to the population of St. Kitts.

“About 70 percent of our water comes from wells. Wells are usually about 100 feet (30.48 m) and so imagine water having to come from minus 100 feet (30.48 m). The pumps that are placed inside the wells now have to force that water from 100 feet (30.48 m) below the ground and so to force that water from below ground to your home requires a lot of electricity,” adding that “when you’re wasting water, you are wasting electricity,” he said.

Mr. Williams further indicated that the Government continues to heavily subsidize water. The cost of producing water is about $20 per thousand gallons, however, for the first-rate, consumers are charged $7.20 for zero to 2, 500 gallons (1.89 m³) of water.

When building your house, is a cistern a must-have?

Talks are underway at the St. Kitts Water Services Department to have prospective homeowners present a construction plan that includes a cistern. Mr. Williams said, “we are close to seeing that become a law or policy”. However, it has been the law or policy for a number of areas on St. Kitts. In particular, prospective homeowners in Frigate Bay are required to have a cistern.

“If you’re going to build with a cistern or purchase one of those storage tanks, you should also look to include a plumbing plan that is fit for rainwater harvesting or water reuse in terms of greywater reuse. Something that would take the strain off of our systems,” Mr. Ryan Phillip, the department’s Assistant Water Engineer said.

World Water Day, celebrated annually on March 22, is about what water means to people, its true value, and how we can better protect the vital resource.

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