WASA is being encouraged to introduce a meter system, to monitor water usage across the country.
This was just one, of many suggestions put forward by a Joint Select Committee on Land and Physical Infrastructure. The committee released its 6th Report on an inquiry into the maintenance of drainage and roadways on Wednesday.
“We did recommend or support the recommendation that came out of the inquiry in relation to metering. The first thing is that the Water and Sewerage Authority will have a better understanding exactly how that water usage is taking place,” said Committee Member Nigel De Freitas during a press conference concerning the report at Tower D yesterday.
“What that also means is that WASA will not be able to charge for water that does not reach its desired destination,” he said.
The committee also stressed that the authority needed to reduce its staggering debt level. They suggested that WASA use a “name and shame” approach to dealing with delinquent customers via the publication of those customers’ names on newspapers and websites.
The committee also suggested that WASA and the Ministry of Works and Transport should work closer together to ensure the greater health of the nation’s roads and its water supply.
“The collaboration with other entities, between WASA and the Ministry of Works and Transport, for example, is not exactly where it should be to allow for things such as timely fixing of leaks,” said De Freitas.
“What is happening there, is because of the age of the pipework and network that we have in Trinidad and Tobago the process by which a road is fixed will cause leaks to happen soon after. And therefore WASA has no choice but to actually dig up the newly paved road to fix that leak.”
The report stated that many roads under the purview of the Ministry of Works and Transport have reached their design life and are in a fair to poor condition.
Other recommendations were also aimed to prevent instances of flooding as the committee found that the drainage system for much of the country was inadequate. However, while the use of a pump system was suggested, this too was also found to have limitations, the report stated.
The Minister of Works and Transport, the Minister of Local Government and the Minister of Public Utilities have been asked to respond to the report in 60 days.
It will cost the cash-strapped Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) $12.7 billion to fix some of the major issues affecting its water supply and distribution. It’s money Public Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte says the water company does not have nor will acquire anytime soon.
In the Sunday Guardian, Public Utilities Le Hunte gave a breakdown of how much WASA will have to fork out if it were to improve its overall delivery of service to the public, which has been his biggest headache since assuming office.
To replace 7,200 kilometres of ageing pipelines, Le Hunte said it will cost WASA a staggering $10 billion.
WASA will also have to come up with another $1.2 billion to install water meters at homes, businesses and in industrial areas, while they would have to find $1 billion to fix interconnectivity issues. Another $500 million is needed to improve its water storage capacity.
“That is the kind of money that we don’t have,” Le Hunte told the Sunday Guardian in an interview at his ministry’s Woodbrook office, as he tried to level with citizens about the issues affecting WASA’s water distribution and production in the harsh dry season.
Reporter: Peter Christopher