26 September 2016 - Business View Caribbean Business View Caribbean - September 2016 27 The Water Authority of the Cayman Islands Supplier of the island’s water “This is a small island,” says Tom van Zanten, Deputy Director of the Water Authority of the Cayman Islands, “and traditionally, most residents collected rainwater or used fresh groundwater from individual wells. How- ever, the availability of fresh groundwater on Grand Cayman was limited in extent and, due to over-usage and pollution, became even scarcer. By the early 1980s, with the surge in tourism, and commercial and residential developments, there was an increased de- mand for a reliable source of clean water.” To respond to this need, the government of the Cay- man Islands formed the Water and Sewerage Project Office in 1981. Its mission was to create a plan for a single body with the responsibility for all water-related matters in the country, plus the capability of provid- ing the necessary public facilities to achieve that aim. In early 1983, the Water and Sewerage Project Office presented its plan to the government, and soon there- after, the Water Authority of the Cayman Islands was established as a statutory body with the passage of the Water Authority Law. The Authority exists in order: • To ensure that the entire population of the Cayman Islands have access to a pure, wholesome, and afford- able supply of potable water; and to regulate other en- tities who are licensed by the Government to provide public water supplies. • To protect and develop groundwater resources for the benefit of present and future populations of these islands. • To provide for the collection, treatment and dispos- al of sewage within these islands in a manner that is safe, efficient and affordable. • To operate in such a manner as to be financially self- sufficient, while contributing to the economy of these islands and achieving a reasonable and acceptable return on capital investments. The Water Authority’s first major projects were the commissioning of the Lower Valley and East End well fields and reservoirs, which provided treated fresh groundwater to water trucking companies for distribu- tion to residential and commercial customers. “But we were going through such rapid development that it was pretty clear, very early on, that the ground water resources would not be adequate,” says van Zanten. “So, we looked at desalination as a method to provide potable water.” At first, the Authority used waste heat from the local electricity company to produce the desalinated sea wa- AT A GLANCE WHO: The Water Authority of the Cayman Islands WHAT: A statutory body providing water and sewer services for the Cayman Islands WHERE: Headquarters in George Town, Grand Cayman WEBSITE : www.waterauthority.ky Management Team: From left, Customer Service Manager Joanna Welcome-Martinez, Deputy Director Tom van Zanten, Director Ge- lia Frederick-van Genderen, Chief Human Resources Manager Patricia Bell, Information Systems Manager John Bodden, Financial Controller Lori Bergman, and Water Resources Engineer Hendrick-Jan van Genderen.