Jamaica News: President of the National Water Commission (NWC), Mark Barnett, says construction of the Rio Cobre water-treatment facility is an important intervention that will help to build resilience and reduce the reliance on the Constant Spring and Mona systems to supply areas of St. Catherine and the Corporate Area.
“This facility is contemplated in a broader context of water-supply improvement for South East St. Catherine as well as North West St. Andrew. This is going to solve not just Kingston’s problem but we also think it is useful to improve water supply into Portmore, (which) has also been an area that has suffered from regulated supply for years,” he said.
Mr. Barnett was speaking at a JIS Think Tank on February 25.
The water-treatment facility, which is being pursued under a private-public partnership (PPP), will take approximately 18 to 24 months to build and will be located at Content near Damhead in St. Catherine.
Supporting documents for the PPP have been submitted for assessment through the Public Investment Management System (PIMS).
Senior Corporate Communications Manger of the NWC, Charles Buchanan, said that “much of the time-consuming components have been overcome, and so it is expected that actual construction should be starting during the course of this year, all things being equal”.
The 15-million-gallon facility will be owned and operated by a private partner, which will then sell the water to the NWC under a water-purchase agreement.
Mr. Buchanan said that “having this facility would provide us with additional volume, which will enable us to provide some protection against drought and other climate change-related risks”.
“It would guarantee that we are better able to supply customers regardless of the rainfall or environmental conditions. It would also give us some excess water-production capacity, which we would have at our disposal to meet a variety of specificities,” he added.