1.5 million gallons of water being saved per day in Portmore

BAHAMAS representatives from the Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) have been inspired to follow the practices of the National Water Commission (NWC) along with co-management partner MIYA Jamaica with regard to the management and execution of the non-revenue water (NRW) reduction programme.

The Bahamian delegation — which was part of a one-day site visit across communities in Portmore to monitor and understudy best practices and systems under the NRW reduction programme that started in March 2022 — was impressed with the success NWC has experienced in Kingston and St Andrew and Portmore with the initiative.

Robert Deal, general manager of the WSC in The Bahamas and leader of the delegation, said, “I was generally very pleased with the level of cooperation and success that NWC and MIYA have experienced in Kingston and St Andrew, and are currently experiencing in Portmore. We have had a 10-year non-revenue programme with MIYA in the past, but now we are hoping to learn some of the lessons for co-management.”

On a note of building institutional capacity, Katherine Paleracio, project manager, MIYA Jamaica, said, “One of the aims of the partnership between the NWC and MIYA is to transfer knowledge. Our day-to-day operations include training NWC staff, so that at the end of the programme there is an adequate amount of capacity building that will enable employees to sustain the project on their own.”

“The positive results that Jamaica has received, has motivated Bahamas to do the same thing,” Paleracio explained.

Paleracio confirmed that the non-revenue water in Portmore is mostly as a result of leaks, excessive water pressure at nights in some areas, overflowing of tanks, illegal connections in socially challenged areas and meter inaccuracies. To date, there has been an approximate reduction in non-revenue water from 26,000 m3/day to 19,000 m3/day, which represents savings of 7,000 m3/day or 1.5 million gallons of water per day. This report comes after subsequent leak detection and leak repair efforts, and the automation of facilities to eliminate tank overflows and regularise activities in eight of the twelve socially challenged communities.

The site visit was conducted in an effort aimed at improving service delivery to customers within the area; enhance the operational efficiency of the NWC; improve water distribution at acceptable pressures to meet the requirement standards of the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR); improve customer satisfaction; and promote energy and water savings among its customers. The programme was modelled after the award-winning Kingston and St Andrew (KSA) NRW programme, implemented over a six-year period by MIYA Water.

Portmore, which has a population of more than 200,000 is currently being serviced by approximately 43,000 traceable service connections. The average system input is just about 42,000 m3/per day of which around 26,000 m3/per day is estimated to be lost (non-revenue water) by the utility company.

The delegation, which sought to explore Jamaica’s co-management arrangement in leak repairs, leak detection and meter installation commenced their visit at the NWC site office in Walkers Hill, Braeton then continued to Independence City, Weetom Lane and Cumberland in Portmore, before finally ending in Edgewater. The participants have sought to understudy the project in an effort to improve their own water systems on the Islands of The Bahamas.

The programme is expected to be implemented in other communities in Portmore, including Naggo Head, Christian Gardens, Port Henderson and Dyke roads.

Generated by Feedzy