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Saint Lucia Tries to Avert Water Crisis

The John Compton Dam, Saint Lucia | Photo: Government of Saint Lucia The John Compton Dam, Saint Lucia | Photo: Government of Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia's main water storage facility, the John Compton Dam is currently holding half of its designed capacity, which water company WASCO says is a grave situation that requires a massive and expensive rehabilitation project.

Officials say the island's main source of water, the John Compton Dam, has been severely compromised, after years of landslides from the above catchments resulted in the accumulation of silt and debris in the dam, which now operates at half its built capacity.

"You will recall that last year and even this year we are still continuing in a very severe drought. That has not abated. We started implementing measures in March of last year, then we had a water-related emergency, which remains in effect because we have not had rainfall for the year," says WASCO's Managing Director Vincent Hippolyte.

He added, "What it means for us, is that we need to make sure we factor that into whatever we're doing this year, for the purpose of ensuring that we can supply water to sustain the economy of Saint Lucia."

As for what people are doing to help the situation, local, Fitzgerald John says there are many simple measures each person can take to conserve water. He has been on a campaign, fearing a water crisis is imminent.

"This is the time now for persons to start to use water more sparingly, start to collect water, start to get their cisterns in order, start to get items they can use to store water," he said.

The water worries are not unique to Saint Lucia. Many Caribbean countries are putting measures in place to ensure water is not wasted. Caribbean governments put water conservation on the priority list for climate change adaptation.

Meanwhile, officials of the water company say there is no room for error in this project adding that the water reservoir must be rehabilitated to avoid catastrophic results.

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