File: WASA’s Arena reservoir

Following the very harsh dry season of 2020, the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) is continuing to remind the public that the water use restrictions implemented on January 28, 2019, remain in effect.

WASA yesterday reiterated that these restrictions include hoses for watering private gardens and washing private motor cars. These actions are prohibited by the Water and Sewerage Act Chapter 54:40 of the Laws of Trinidad and Tobago. Prohibited actions also include using sprinklers, pressure waters, fountains, waterfalls, and other outdoor features that use water.

WASA is also reminding the public that the onus of responsibility falls on the owner or occupier of a property to prevent water wastage.

Under the Water and Sewerage Act Chapter 54:40, taking, using, or diverting water from a reservoir, watercourse, or pipeline (conduit) belonging to WASA is prohibited. The list of prohibited actions also includes using equipment to interfere with any property that is owned by WASA.

To look for compliance with regulations and restrictions, WASA will be stepping up surveillance and pursuing the persecution of anyone found in breach of restrictions.

Reservoirs across Trinidad remain below average capacity

As of May 18, 2020, reservoirs across Trinidad remain well below average for this time of year. At the Hollis Reservoir, current capacity is at 30.12 per cent compared to the long-term average of 44.60 per cent. The Navet Reservoir, the second largest in the country, is at 34.07 per cent capacity compared to the long-term average of 51.04 per cent.

At the Caroni/Area Dam, the largest dam in Trinidad and Tobago, the situation is much more concerning, with 26.83 per cent filled compared to the long-term average of 55.66 per cent.

In Tobago, with near-average rainfall during the dry season, the Hillsborough Reservoir is above average with current capacity at 62.40 per cent compared to the long-term average of 57.41 per cent.

The harsh dry season

According to the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service (TTMS), April 2020 was the second driest April on record in the 75 years of observations at Piarco. March 2020 was the 12th driest record in the last 75 years at Piarco. Rainfall was 33 per cent, 70 per cent, and 95 per cent less than average in February, March, and April, respectively, at Piarco.

In Tobago, conditions were relatively less dry, with near-average rainfall experienced through the dry season.