Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 16th 2017 Contents A8 news
guardian.co.tt Sunday, July 16, 2017
a big problem
Executive director of the Car-
ibbean Water and Wastewater
Association (CWWA) Patri-
cia Aquing, who has spent
more than two decades in
the field of water manage-
ment, acknowledged that
high amounts of leakage
was likely an indication of
She added that water was ex-
pensive to treat and deliver, and
wasting water was a global problem.
“All across the Caribbean, coun-
tries are looking at the issue of water
loss. In Barbados a couple years ago, they had
60 per cent leakage and Barbados is severely
water stressed. Many other Caribbean coun-
tries face the same issue and it is a significant
problem,” Aquing said.
“That is where technology choices come into play.
We may need to review our transmission systems.”
Aquing said while leakage and aged infrastructure
was a problem, the other problem was the number of
“There are people living in areas with illegal con-
nections and there is nothing in the system to tell you
what volume of water is lost due to that.
“It is also a political problem, especially when you
have illegal connections from people in a lower eco-
nomic rung who cannot pay for water and people who
do not want to pay for water.
“Politicians have to bite the bullet and say even if
you have people in that group, what steps need to
be taken to bring them into the system, whether
it is reduced rates or something else.”
Aquing said in other places in the Car-
ibbean people are more water conscious,
so they made specific water conser-
“We need a very very strong public
awareness programme which
I do not see in Trinidad from
corporate to school children
and home owners. You have
places where there are seri-
ous water conflicts. People
are fighting for water. Wa-
ter is a development issue.
Our Government needs to
understand it is not some-
thing you just get at the end
of a tap.” People, Aquing
said, need to be educated
that there is a cost attached
to producing the potable water
that they get in their pipes.
Aquing said most people
were concerned with what
they got when they open the
taps but reiterated that it was ex-
pensive to bring water to people.
(With reporting by Kevon Felmine)
Five minutes from the capital city, Port-
of-Spain, from major businesses
and government offices, in the
community of Belmont, lives
45-year-old Sharon Persad* and
The Persads* have lived in Bel-
mont for 17 years and the only thing
consistent about their water supply, is
the fact that they rarely have one.
“For the past 17 years it has been about the
same, we get mostly no water during the week.
We get water for three out of seven days and the
times we get water is between midnight and 7
am or during the day between 11 am and around
4 pm when nobody is at home or everybody in
school or something. Sometimes days and weeks
go without water as well.
“There are times we get
more water than regular, in the
raininy season we get water around
four times a week and also, believe
it or not, at election time.”
To Persad, it’s bad enough that her wa-
ter supply is inconsistent, but what is
equally frustrating is
knowing that she pays for
“We pay for our water
and we see how everywhere you
go, it is leaking all over the road. It
is very frustrating because we can’t
cook very often and have to buy food.
We cannot have showers often, we
bathe in buckets from the tank. It is
unhealthy, my mom sickly and had an
amputation and needed running
water to clean things and
we couldn’t do that.”
Persad said she often won-
dered why people living in
other parts of Belmont had a
more consistent supply, but has
not been able to get an answer from
“Sometimes there are leaks and I get
really upset, especially on the hot days.
It makes you feel to cry, going home
after a long day you don’t have a shower,
you use a bucket and then you see water
running all over the road.”
For the average homeowner,
the water bill adds up to about
$200 to $300 per quarter.
According to the information
provided on a WASA bill, stand-
pipes distribute water at a bill-
ing rate of $33.75 per quarter,
while internally serviced proper-
ties are billed at a rate of $108
to $304 per quarter.
Executive director, CWWA, Patricia Aquing.
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