Water barging ends
Beginning a new era of water production for New Providence, Titas, the vessel commissioned back in 1989, which has had the responsibility of barging nearly three million gallons of water daily from North Andros to the capital, was officially decommissioned by Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham yesterday .
The Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) has been faced with importation challenges over the years, especially when poor weather conditions inhibited the barging vessel from docking.
When this occurred WSC has had to conduct rationing exercises to preserve water storage levels, which resulted in low water pressure in several areas throughout New Providence.
Ingraham indicated that residents in New Providence could now look forward to high-pressured, safe and affordable water in the future. He continued that over the last 35 years, approximately 35 billion imperial gallons of water have been shipped from North Andros to New Providence at a cost of approximately $200 million to meet the water supply demands of the capital.
“The barging scheme apart from the strain it put on the fresh water lens on Andros, no longer adequately meets the needs or the water demands of New Providence,” noted Ingraham during the decommissioning ceremony held at the new Arawak Cay Port.
“Indeed the system has proven unsatisfactory in recent times for many reasons. With the advent of advanced technology, desalination is no longer as prohibitively expensive as it used to be, permitting it to be introduced on a large scale here in New Providence.”
The Blue Hills Expansion Desalination Plant with an installed capacity of four million imperial gallons per day will be able to replace the Titas’ production capacity and will conclude the Interim Barging Scheme, WSC officials have previously said.
“I expect that an arrangement has been put in place by the Water and Sewerage Corporation to produce adequate quantities of safe potable water, [and] will soon put it in a position to be able to supply water in good supply to commercial and business operations, including our mega hotels,” Ingraham explained.
“This should in turn relieve resident consumers from having to pay the commercial rate that is now imposed on them or the commercial rates intended to be imposed on them by the Water and Sewerage Corporation as its cash becomes scarcer and scarcer.”
He added, “Beginning some 10 years or so ago, the Water and Sewerage Corporation began entering into arrangements with private sector partners to produce and/or purchase potable water, produced via reverse osmosis as a supplement to the ground water supplies on this island and that, we believe will be the future of water production on New Providence for the foreseeable future.”
Environment Minister Earl Deveaux and Minister of State for the Environment Phenton Neymour thanked International Shipping Partners Senior Vice President of Marine Operations Nick Hope-Inglis for managing the shipping operation over the years. A special thank you from the prime minister was issued to Titas Captain Alan Angeron and crew for their dedicated and committed service to the barging program.