BVC March, 2016 - page 46

46 March 2016 - Business View Caribbean
land has many dams and reservoirs in use that help
capture and distribute it. But, according to Thompson,
demand has been increasing over time, both from its
industrial sector as well as from a population that is
becoming more affluent and is seeking a higher stan-
dard of living, which includes more indoor plumbing
and the desire for a reliable fresh water supply.
“The demand was somewhere between 200 and 250
million imperial gallons a day,” Thompson explains.
“And the main plant capacity of the Water and Sewer-
age Authority’s plants was about 250. But, in practice,
it was considerably less - somewhere in the range of
180-200 imperial gallons a day. And the reason for
that is threefold: an aging infrastructure - a fair per-
centage of it was leaking; old plants, all dating back to
the days before independence in 1962; and also a lot
of unaccounted-for water.” Much of the unaccounted
water was being siphoned off by local farmers, and,
because of the aging infrastructure, there were prob-
lems of water supply to the Point Lisas Industrial Es-
tate, which because of its high concentration of indus-
try, is the powerhouse of the nation‘s economy.
By August 2002, the plant was beginning to close the
gap by producing 22 million imperial gallons a day
of desalinated, fresh water. By 2004, it was up to 24
million gallons. “Since then, we have progressively ex-
panded the plant to 40 million gallons by November
of 2014. That’s when it was completed,” says Thomp-
son. “And we are in the process of a second phase of
the expansion which is giving us more reliability and
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