A Dam Expansion Project in the Burkes vicinity is in its third week and is set for completion at the end of this week.
The Dam is estimated to retain up to thirty (30) million gallons of water.
During a visit to the site this week, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs, Ms. Samantha Marshall, expressed how pleased she was with the progress since she last visited, despite the challenges.
“We are looking at great things happening here and I am very pleased with what’s happening, I have to thank the director and of course, Mr. Alvin Christian who has been working along with the farmers in this area to make sure that this is completed,” stated Ms. Marshall.
Water security in Antigua and Barbuda, is one of the main challenges which farmers endure on a day to day basis, which has stunted the productivity of the agriculture sector over the years.
However, Minister Marshall said that she has made it her duty to ensure that measures are being put in place to address this issue.
“For me, as a new minister and wanting to see really what could happen from scratch and seeing the potential here; water security is one of the major issues for farmers and we want to make sure that we are able to provide at least a basic level of water for them and so there is intent to do a few more of these in strategic areas. The next area we’re going to be truly focusing on as a ministry is the area in the vicinity of Bendals,” explained Ms. Marshall.
According to the minister, discussions have also begun with the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA), for the next project, which will address the issue of water security among farmers.
In the meantime, Contractor for the Dam Expansion Project, Mr. Alvin Christian, noted that the project is currently beyond its midway point.
“They are now doing serious excavating; widening of the dam, following the trail of the original cut and this excess widening will increase the dam’s capacity.”
Mr. Christian explained that throughout this process, they faced a number of challenges with regards to the operators, as dam construction is much more technical.
Technical issues with the machinery used was also a factor.
He suggested that more dams be constructed, as these are much more sustainable than ponds.
With ponds, Christian explained that they are only full when there is significant rainfall and since they sustain less than a million gallons of water, the evaporation rate of the water is much greater.
He also used the opportunity to comment on the situation regarding the Pot works Dam.
The shortage of water at the Pot works Dam is expected, according to Christian, given how much water is pumped on a daily basis and the original capacity of the dam.
“Like anywhere else, if you pump it as hard as Pot Works Dam, it is going to get dry, I mean, you are pumping a million gallons of water a day from a billion gallon dam, it is going to go dry,” stated Mr. Christian.
He thinks that a solution to this problem is to build a dam in Bendals and use it to feed Pot Works Dam.
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I think we have established that the issue is NOT where to store the water…
It’s the fact that we have NO WATER to store!
More Desalination Plants are needed around the island.
Step 2: Make lots of rain fall…
OR we can actually look to effective water plants.
This is a disturbing place to live.
Can we clean out pot works dam so it can actually hold the amount of water that it is meant to hold in the first place that would actually help alot with the water situation on the island.
There is a lot of water wasted off the runaway when we have heavy. Most of the water runs back into the sea. The former American Base had built a Reservoir Catchment behind LIAT Hanger which holes a little over 2 millions gallon of water. From what I understand, that Reservoir Catchment used to supply water to both former American Bases and also stored in several 10 and 5 thousands gallon storage tanks on both Bases. Even people from far and near used to come to those Bases to filled containers during the dry seasons. I think that Water Catchment can be use to feed the Coolidge and surrounding areas and can be extended bigger to hold more water.
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