The National Water Commission (NWC) is complaining that it is coming under pressure from unscrupulous persons who are illegally tapping into its supply mains.
This, it disclosed on Tuesday, has been crippling its efforts to ease the impact of the dry spell affecting the island.
The offenders identified include truck drivers, who later sell the water to residents in drought-affected areas, farmers and persons with pumps.
The NWC has been been experioencing declining inflows at many of its water supply sources, coupled with increasing demand.
Mark Blair, vice president for operations, said water truck operators in Negril, Westmoreland and other areas in the west have been illegally filling their trucks at fire hydrants.
Mr. Blair explained that the extreme dry conditions have reduced output from the Logwood Water Supply System to 2.8 million gallons per day, down from its capacity of seven million gallons.
This has forced the NWC to implement a regulation schedule to ensure that all customers receive water at least every other day for at least eight hours.
But with truckers constantly stealing water from hydrants, the system is being drained and left without the pressure to supply some persons.
The NWC said while it is working with the police to clamp down on the practice, it is appealing to persons, particularly in Negril, to desist from the practice.