Gibson laments financial burden on govt created by reverse osmosis plants
Member of Parliament for Long Island and Executive Chairman of the Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) Adrian Gibson wants to release the government from the multi-year, multimillion-dollar burden of having foreign-run reverse osmosis (RO) plants, he said in his 2019/2020 budget contribution last week.
Gibson said apart from the overwhelming amount of money spent by the government to have those plants operated, the companies contracted to operate them have not met certain obligations, which Gibson said has been documented.
“WSC has written of a number of concerns with our New Providence providers, ranging from automatic dumping systems, to failed LSI (Langelier Saturation Index) testing requirements, to meter calibration frequency, to proof of competitive bidding for fuel, to maintenance schedules, to follow through on the familiarization of WSC personnel with RO operations and so on,” he said.
Gibson added that to date, WSC has paid more than $80 million to family island-based RO plant operators and on New Providence $304 million to Consolidated Water Bahamas Limited (CWCO).
“As at May 16, 2019, total CWCO invoices outstanding stood at $12 million,” he said. “WSC also pays the property tax for these operations.”
According to Gibson, the money being paid to operate these plants could supply enough RO plants to supply the entire Bahamas.
He added that two plants were recently purchased by WSC for Sweetings Cay and Ragged Island and this has saved the corporation $200,000 annually.
“We are in discussions to purchase a number of smaller plants in short course,” he said.
Crooked Island will be the next island to receive potable water through the installation of water mains and a reverse osmosis plant. The Crooked Island water improvement project will require the installation of approximately five miles of water mains and about 83 service connections, Gibson revealed last week while on the island, where he signed a contract with Bahamas Hot Mix, which will complete the work.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism