Nevis Water Department maintains supply despite financial challenges
NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (March 29, 2021) – – The Nevis Water Department continues to meet the growing demand for water on the island despite financial challenges.
Hon. Spencer Brand, Minister responsible for Water Services in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) said in a recent public address that it costs more to produce the commodity than the amount of revenue the department collects via billing consumers for the critical resource.
“Our costs outweigh the revenue collected. A crude analysis of our revenue and expenditure reveals that for three years the Nevis Water Department collected $5.68 million in 2018, $6.48 million in 2019, and $5.54 million in 2020.
“However the Department spent a total of $11.32 million in 2018, $8.1 million in 2019 and $8.12 million in 2020, excluding the electricity costs.
“Despite this imbalance in revenue and expenditure we continue to meet the demand for water here on the island of Nevis while providing the necessary subsidies,” he said.
The Minister pointed out that Nevis has one of the lowest rates for water in the Caribbean, and there has been no increases in the past few years.
He said this is not to say that the Department would be increasing the price of water in the near future, but rather to make the point that it is a challenge to produce and maintain the supply of water at the current prices offered.
Hon. Brand urged consumers across the island to appreciate the value of water and to conserve the scarce resource as best they can.
“The construction of reservoirs; the drilling and the installation of production water wells; the construction and installation of a new water treatment plant; the regular testing of the quality of water to meet World Health Organisation (WHO) standards; the management of our water resources; the distribution and maintenance of the water system, all come at a cost which we must not take for granted.
“In light of this, we should therefore place a high intrinsic value to water. You can play your part by ensuring that you practice rain water harvesting and install and maintain water storage at your home and work places; by practicing water conservation activities at all times; and by paying your water bills on time for accessing and using water.”
Mr. Brand pledged that the NIA will continue to invest in the water services sector on Nevis by exploring for more water via drilling, by expanding its storage capacity with a 250,000 gallon tank at Pond Hill, and improving the Water Department’s services by upgrading its billing software and rolling out its E-pay platform in the very near future.