NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (December 17, 2020) — The Nevis Water Department is slated to undergo major changes during the fiscal year 2021, paving the way for its transitioning into a water utility entity.
Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis and Minister of Finance, spoke of the plans earmarked for the department when he presented the 2021 Budget at a sitting of the Nevis Island Assembly at Hamilton House on December 08, 2020.
“The Nevis Water Department will focus on training and staff development; updating and introducing new policies and implementing an operational plan to transition the existing department into water utility entity.
“Other initiatives include implementing an E-pay system to facilitate online payments. Work will be done to enhance the department’s website so as to provide a means to register customer complaints, report leaks and other water wastage incidents. It will also provide a means to educate the public generally, while providing a platform to share information,” he said.
The Minister of Finance explained that the transition to internet-based services is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it will also assist with data collection.
“The new platform will allow customers to make payments without having to physically travel to the department, thus observing the social and physical distancing protocols. This enhanced website would also enable the department to produce accurate data on water production and distribution so as to enhance the decision-making process,” he said.
Meantime, regarding maintaining stability of the water supply, Mr. Brantley gave some insight into plans for achieving that.
“In order to sustain the stability of our water supply, we must continue to explore new ways to augment our existing water supply through a continuous water drilling programme. We will also seek to explore the use of energy efficient desalination systems as an added approach.
However, the Finance Minister reminded that the plans and programmes would only come to fruition once financing is available.
“The implementation of these programmes and projects will depend on the availability of the necessary financial resources and are all aimed at building resilience which will positively impact our economy as we seek to rebuild and recover from the devastating economic blow of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.