Prime Minister Gaston Browne on Saturday called on residents “to continue to be patient with APUA,” noting that the public utility is taking steps to address the ongoing water woes in the country.
At the same time, the nation’s leader called on residents to be “frugal” with their water use, as the country goes through a period of drought.
“As APUA indicated, some work was being done on the Sir George Walter Highway that disrupted one of the mains, and as a consequence a number of communities were not getting water on a regular basis,” the Prime Minister said on Pointe FM’s Browne and Browne Show.
“But that has been resolved, so we are now back to full capacity and enough water is being generated to satisfy the demand of the country.
“The only problem is that there are still a few spots in which maybe they may have pumping problems, for example to pump the water, so there’s some, let’s say small areas, trouble spots in which they have not been able to supply. But those are being addressed,” Browne assured.
Old galvanized pipes being replaced
Meanwhile, the prime minister said he is aware that in some areas, there’s the issue of old pipes.
But he said this too is being addressed.
“We have pipes that are clearly dilapidated and affecting the quality of the water. Those are being replaced,” Browne said.
“In fact, I know that APUA got in some pipes recently and they’ve been systematically replacing those old galvanized pipes, and I believe that sometime next month, I’m told they’ll be getting some in for Pointe and Villa, and I believe that within the period of about six weeks they should be able to replace those pipes.
“So there is a re-piping taking place and we’re asking Antiguans and Barbudans to continue to be patient with APUA and also for them to conserve water,” Browne added.
He said residents would be aware that Antigua and Barbuda is experiencing drought.
“Within the last two, three months, we’ve had less than one inch of rain, and wherever you have that kind of drought condition, people have to become a little bit more frugal with the use of water,” cautioned the nation’s leader.
“At the same time we’ve been generating a lot of reverse osmosis water, 100 percent of the water being consumed now is from reverse osmosis — very expensive water, but the government continues to subsidize water.
“I think it’s about EC$22 or less than US$10 per 1,000 gallons, which I believe is easily one of the cheapest within the region and even beyond the Caribbean region. So, again we’re asking Antiguans and Barbudans, all citizens and residents to be very frugal with the use of water, to conserve water. Not because it’s cheap,” added Browne.
(This article was written by 268 TODAY journalists)