The Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) is advising customers throughout T&T that despite the Meteorological Service declaration of the start of the 2020 wet season over one month ago, the water supply situation has not normalised with storage levels at the authority’s major impounding reservoirs being below respective Long Term Averages (LTAs).

WASA said in a statement that the current state of the country’s water resources follows extremely harsh dry seasons in 2019 and 2020 separated by a drier than normal 2019 wet season. The authority said this has led to the significant depletion of storage at its impounding reservoirs, in particular Arena, Hollis and Navet, located in Trinidad.

WASA said given the levels, significant rainfall will be required over the coming months, in order to recover to acceptable levels.

For the full 2020 dry season (January to May) there were rainfall deficits at all major water treatment facilities as follows:

At Caroni-Arena: 31.6 per cent.

Navet: – 40.3 per cent

Hollis – 40.3 per cent

Hillsborough – 29.4 per cent.

The authority said although rainfall for June 2020 was at near normal when compared to LTAs (i.e. 232, 330, 279 and 142 mm, at Arena, Navet, Hollis and Hillsborough respectively), this has not reversed the downward trend from June 1 to July 3, 2020.

WASA said this prevailing situation continues to have an adverse impact on water availability at the Caroni, Navet and Hollis Water Treatment Plants with production being reduced from the normal 75 to 30 million gallons per day (mgd) at Caroni; from 19.8 mgd to 15.0 mgd at Navet and 8.4 to 4 mgd at Hollis.

It said In light of this, customers in several communities, particularly at the extremities or high points of the above-mentioned water distribution systems, have been and will continue to be adversely affected.

These include customers supplied by the Caroni Water Treatment Plant such as the upper areas of Champs Fleurs, Santa Cruz, Barataria, Laventille, Belmont, Cascade and St Anns in the North; as well as Longdenville, Dow Village, Freeport, Claxton Bay, La Romaine, Cocoyea, Penal, Debe, in Central and South West; communities in South East Trinidad supplied by the Navet Water Treatment Plant including Mayaro, Rio Claro, Biche, Williamsville, New Grant, Princes Town and Barrackpore along with customers in parts of Arima, D’Abadie and Arouca, supplied by the Hollis Water Treatment Plant.

The utility said in order to mitigate the ongoing shortfall in production at these major water treatment facilities, the authority has maintained all the measures instituted in keeping with its 2020 Water Supply Management Plan, which are aimed at maximising water production, decreasing unaccounted for water and reducing demand.

These include further adjustments to the water supply schedules, which will be published on the authority’s Website and social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram); improved response to leak repairs; and increased water trucking, particularly to communities at the extremities and high points of the distribution system.

The authority is assuring customers that it continues to prudently manage the country’s water resources in relation to available supply and demand.

It is also mindful of the ongoing water supply needs to our customers necessary in the fight against the COVID-19 virus.

Customers, particularly in areas that are not adversely impacted, are therefore encouraged to manage their water use wisely by engaging in proper water conservation habits.

All customers and members of the public are also reminded of the need to comply with the water use restrictions, which remain in force until further notice.