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NWC systems affected by drought conditions

The National Water Commission (NWC) is reporting that several of  its systems across the island are being affected by worsening drought conditions. 
 
In addition to the sharp decline in levels at the NWC's largest storage facilities - Mona and Constant Spring - the Commission said there are several systems that have been experiencing a significant reduction in inflows.
 
The NWC said reports up to Wednesday show a drastic decline in water available for distribution from systems in rural St. Andrew. 
 
These include the Bucky Plain and Mahoney systems in West Rural St. Andrew and the Griffin Water Supply System in Irish Town.
 
Several communities served by these systems have been affected.
 
In St. Catherine, the NWC said the Berkshire Hall system has been experiencing significant down time as the river source that feeds the plant has dried up. 
 
The communities of Lime Hall, Laycock and New Ground in St. Ann are faced with a similar situation as the New Ground system is receiving 10 per cent of its normal daily inflows. 
 
The Seville system that serves the communities of Seville, Priory and its environs is also running low.
 
The NWC said the effects of dry conditions and reduced rainfall are also being observed at several plants in western Jamaica. 
 
The Endeavour and Mafoota systems in St. James, the Moravia system in Manchester, Y. S. Spring in St. Elizabeth, the New Milns Pumping station in Hanover and the Queen of Spain facility in Trelawny have lost up to 70 per cent of their daily inflows.
 
Similar trends have been reported in sections of Clarendon, St. Mary, St. Ann and Portland, where several systems are operating between 20 and 40 per cent of their normal capacity. 
 
As an interim measure, the NWC has adjusted its operating hours.
 
This involves shutting down pumps for specified periods in order to build storage levels. 
 
The NWC has ramped up the expansion, rehabilitation and general maintenance of several of its plants to improve inflows.
 
The Commission is hoping that the measures will help to alleviate some of the challenges faced by its customers.
 
In addition, the NWC said trucked water schedules are being implemented.
 
The NWC is also targeting improved timelines for leak repairs.
 
Corporate Area
 
The NWC said it is working to ease the water woes in sections of the Corporate Area.
 
Over the last few months, NWC customers in several communities have been complaining about a lack of water.
 
A group of Opposition MPs on Thursday issued a joint statement complaining about the crisis facing NWC customers in their constituencies.
 
They claimed that at least 32 communities in the four constituencies are without water due to production and distribution problems between Wednesday night and Thursday morning.  
 
They blamed the government's road improvement work for the problem.
 
In a statement to RJR News Thursday afternoon, the NWC said frequent breaks on its major transmission lines along Constant Spring Road, its distribution lines along Hagley Park Road and the Rio Cobre/Tulloch Spring main, are making it difficult to deliver water.
 
Repairs are in progress.
 
The Commission said drought conditions have added to the problem.
 
The NWC is also engaging private truck operators to add to its fleet to provide water to affected communities. 
  
The NWC added that it is in the process of procuring water tanks to be distributed to 1,500 households.
 


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