Information Officer I (Ag.)
Department of Information and Public Relations
Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Kye Rymer said that the rehabilitation of the water infrastructure in the Territory will be costly but that a comprehensive review of water distribution in the Territory is underway.
In his statement at the Fifth Sitting of the First Session of the Fifth House of Assembly, Minister Rymer said his ministry is addressing concerns from the public related to the water woes residents are facing and explained the contractual components of the agreement under which water desalination plants currently operate under.
Honourable Rymer said, “It is also clear that we need a comprehensive review of the infrastructure for water distribution in the Territory, and we are working toward a consultancy to address getting a situation report. We can only effectively know where we are going if we know where we are now. Unfortunately, since the signing of this Water Purchase Agreement, from 2010 onward to 2019, minuscule investments have been made to the water distribution network. So like anything, without maintenance, at some point it will fail, and we are now at that reality.”
Honourable Rymer said in some cases water is wasted due to unavoidable accidents, but in most cases it is a result of the failing infrastructure that needs an urgent upgrade.
He said, “I am hoping that I will have the support of every member of this Honourable House when the time comes to agree on the allocation of the funding that will be required to address these concerns. Even now, the Government spends a huge sum of money on water production, storage and distribution. We pay Seven Seas for the possibility of producing up to 2.3 million gallons of water daily, which is shy of one million dollars ($1M) per month, and then we pay them the going rate for the water they actually produce and sell to us, plus we have to pay BVIEC for the electricity to the plant.”
The Minister’s full statement can be viewed on the Government of the Virgin Islands website at www.bvi.gov.vg.
The Ministry of Communications and Works continues to ensure the continued development and maintenance of public infrastructure in keeping with international standards so that public utilities are reliable and affordable in support of an enhanced community life for every resident and visitor in the Virgin Islands.