Minister Burgess: Update On Water Supply

October 26, 2010

Earlier today [Oct 26] Minister of Works and Engineering Derrick Burgess provided an update on the initiatives Government is taking to ensure the availability of sufficient amounts of drinking water.

Minister Burgess’s full statement follows below:

Good afternoon and thank you for your attendance at this press conference.

I would like to update the public on the various initiatives which the Ministry of Works and Engineering is currently undertaking to ensure the availability of sufficient amounts of drinking water for the people of Bermuda.

As a result of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Government of Bermuda and Watlington Water Works earlier this year, work is proceeding with a connection from that company to the Government reservoir at Tudor Hill, Southampton. This work is scheduled to be complete by March 2011 and will see an additional three million gallons per month delivered to customers at the west end of the Island.

The eastern parishes struggled this year due to limited water resources in this area. We are currently in the final stages of completing the movement of the containerized Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant to Marginal Wharf which will provide an increase of water supply to the Bermuda Land Development Company Limited’s water truckers’ outlet. The plant will provide up to 100,000 gallons per day for this outlet.

In addition to the relocation of the containerized RO plant, I announced earlier this year that the Government had approved the construction, operation and maintenance of a new 125,000 imperial gallons per day reverse osmosis plant to supply increased amounts of potable water to the distribution system in St. George’s. Work is ongoing and this plant is scheduled to begin operation in mid November this year.

With regard to the central parishes, the expansion of the Tynes Bay facility is ongoing. This includes internal works to the facility, completion of a feed water system and a connection of the facility to the Tynes Bay Waste-to-Energy Facility for power.

Water conservation is a tripartite partnership between the Government, water truckers and the public. We must all play our part to ensure that we manage our unique water resources responsibly.

In this regard, I am pleased to report that I had a most constructive meeting with the Island’s water truckers at Devonshire Recreation Club last evening. We had an excellent exchange during the meeting, with the water truckers sharing a number of concerns about their industry and offering solutions whereby those concerns might be addressed. Very importantly, the water truckers re-affirmed their commitment to work with Government as we, together, address the Island’s potable water needs.

Water truckers were particularly concerned about occasions when their access to the truckers’ station at Frog Lane is denied because of persons who park their cars in the area. This matter rears its ugly head particularly when there are major sporting events at the National Sports Centre. We implore motorists are not to park their vehicles in the truckers’ station or across the entrance. We shall ask the Police to be extra vigilant in that area.

Other matters addressed last evening included the need for improved lighting at some truckers’ stations; the need for greater access to the truckers’ station at the Bermuda Land Development Company Ltd. at Southside; extended operating hours at some truckers’ stations and the possibility of tax relief with respect to the purchase of their supplies and equipment.

I wish to conclude by reiterating that with all parties working together, we can ensure that there is adequate potable water for all residents and visitors.

Thank you.

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