GG details plans to address water problem in Antigua and Barbuda

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Governor General Sir Rodney Williams addressed concerns regarding water in the Speech from The Throne today:

He said: Another global challenge faced by the people of Antigua and Barbuda is the earth’s changing climate. It influences the fierceness and intensity of storms and hurricanes, the erosion of our shoreline from groundswells; it causes unwanted Sargassum weed to invade our beaches and can be blamed for the reduction in annual rainfall. My Government is fully aware that having a sufficient supply of fresh, potable water for our homes, our hotels, our businesses, schools and other institutions is an achievable goal which the APUA would have already overcome– but for the Covid pandemic.

 

My Government wishes to present its national water production report to the people it serves. Seven years ago, when the current administration was first elected, Sembcorp produced a maximum of 3.5 million gallons of potable water daily and was owed more than $22,000,000 by the APUA. Fast forward to today when as part of its capacity building policy, APUA is now the sole owner of the Sembcorp plants. Further, APUA has through its strategic planning process, doubled potable water production to 7 million gallons per day by bringing more reverse osmosis or R/O plants online. The reality is that sustained drought conditions and an expanding economy have resulted in an increased demand for water from 6 million gallons per day in 2013 to 8 million gallons per day in 2020. Additional reverse osmosis plants therefore had to be commissioned. These units include:

 

The Pigeon Point R/O, installed in 2016 with a daily production capacity of 300,000 gallons.

APUA’s intervention with this plant saved the yachting industry from the negative impacts of another long and harmful drought. The owners of the yachts had plans to relocate to another jurisdiction which offered free water, but my government’s intervention saved this important sector;

 

The Ivan Rodgrigues R/O plant at Shell Beach, was installed in 2017 with a daily production capacity of 1.7 million gallons.

 

To meet growing demands for potable water, APUA has reported that they have now moved beyond planning and will be in their implementation phase this year as they pursue their goal to produce an estimated 10 million gallons per day, well in excess of the expected daily demands of 8 million. The future looks promising. My government has provided the following line up for improved water production in response to the urgent needs of our residents:

 

A Japanese funded R/O Plant which brings the complement of units at Ffreyes Beach to four, will begin its commissioning process from this weekend with the expectation to be operational within the first quarter of this year. Our nation’s, production capacity will increase by 350,000 gallons per day when this unit comes online.

 

  1. The Fort James R/O Plant, with a capacity of 500,000 gallons per day will be commissioned by June 2022. The plant has been paid for and is already containerized for shipment.

 

The Bethesda R/O Plant, with a capacity of 3.2 million gallons per day, will be commissioned in September 2022. My government has been assured by APUA that payments for this plant have been accelerated to facilitate its expeditious delivery to our shores and to avoid any delays in the supply chain.

 

These new plants will significantly enhance the units at Crabbes, Camp Blizzard, Barnacle Point, Pigeon Point and the three (3) existing units at Ffyres Beach.

 

My Government is aware that in spite of these significant improvements in production, many are not experiencing the expected flow of water through their taps and a small number of households on higher elevations have water flow and pressure challenges. The APUA Water Division has given my government assurances that they have identified the existing distribution system as being the bottleneck in the water supply process. Our existing system has done its time, it is inefficient and inadequate for the consistent supply of quality, potable water. A sustainable solution, to include the installation of a sewer system in St. John’s City, had already been designed but delays occasioned by the COVID 19 pandemic have slowed the implementation process. My government and the APUA Water Division asks for the further patience of its residents and customers as it continues to press toward the achievement of its goal. We thank the APUA Water Division for addressing the persistent drought conditions that have left all surface-water storage-systems empty. There is no doubt that this has increased our nation’s reliance almost exclusively, on the science of reverse osmosis. Reverse Osmosis water is very precious and very expensive, but my government considers its investment in water desalination both necessary and wise. Thank you, APUA, for making an effort to reach every household in Antigua. My government and people will continue to look forward with hope to the full realization of your commitment to provide water to every customer 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, even in the absence of rain.

 

The decline in rainfall in recent years, leading to drought, followed occasionally by torrential rain and flooding, has been blamed on the global climate change phenomenon. Global warming threatens to undermine civilization by disrupting the normalcy of weather, by rapid melting of ice on the frozen continents on the North and South Poles, by the expansion of the seas, and the erosion of shorelines as millions of gallons of melted ice pour into the oceans. In response, our small island-state has joined forces with other low-lying coastal-and island-states, in every international forum in which islands have membership, to help to make our island-homes safer places on which to live for countless generations to come. Many multi-lateral institutions, such as the United Nations, the Organization of American States and the Commonwealth of Nations, are debating a set of measures put forward by the most vulnerable, to reduce the harmful effects of increases in global temperatures. Our diplomats and environmental experts, led by the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, have worked to rescue small islands from imminent destruction. They are to be applauded.

 

The agricultural output of Antigua and Barbuda has been adversely impacted by the drought conditions, which have been severe during these past five years. While the absence of rain compelled many farmers to rely upon irrigation and modern technologies for food crop production, drought has also resulted in a significant reduction of ruminants. My Government reports that nearly 100,000 sheep and goats have been slaughtered for food but have not been replaced; the populations of these quadrupeds—having been hampered by the shortage of edible leafy vegetation and rain water—have dwindled. In egg production, however, there is no deficiency. It is noteworthy that poultry farmers are able to meet market demand for eggs. Congratulations!

 

Agriculture continues to grow in economic importance as scientific methods, taught to our farmers by Chinese scientists, the Agricultural Institute for Latin America and the Caribbean (IICA) and others, have begun to attract many young people to this emerging career path. The Minister of Agriculture, having encouraged wide-scale back-yard farming and newer technologies such as hydroponics, has generated an inordinate interest in food production and the achievement of food security. In several secondary schools, Agricultural Science is being taught to inculcate a high regard for food sovereignty. My Government recognizes that its population of 100,000 souls expands with the arrival of every vessel and aircraft. While we must cater for the tastes and likes of our visitors, my government acknowledges the noble ambition of achieving food sovereignty in our island nation.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. You can increase production all you want. The distribution network is broken, antiquated and dilapidated. So promises of increased capacity means nothing until you address the root cause. That being how the water reaches households and businesses after R/O.

    This is 2022 and successive Governments that govern a 170 square mile country; still cannot guarantee it’s citizens regular and reliable water to there homes and businesses 365 days a year 24 hours a day.

    To me. That is unacceptable and change is needed.

    • I agree with you. and why they have to put the GG in such a position? They now know tht water can make or break you come next election so an extra efforts will be made to make people believe this is real but like you AND John French II said. promises of increased capacity means nothing until you address the root cause. That being how the water reaches households and businesses after R/O. #APUASUCKS

      • Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! “The Afrocentric method considers that no phenomena can be apprehended adequately without locating it first. A phenom must be studied and analyzed in relationship to psychological time and space. It must always be located. This is the only way to investigate the complex interrelationships of science and art, design and execution, creation and maintenance, generation and tradition, and other areas bypassed by theory.” – Asante!

        Presently APUA produces some 7 Million GPD! The Throne Speech states the additional Desalinization Plant production will increase APUA’s Water Harvesting Capacity to 10 Million GPD! how will The New Found Supply reach the Customers! Two Critical Infrastructure Components are necessary: A Distribution system in its simplest form is the water lines! Not so long ago the Long Suffering and Simple Living Minister, save for “Cohibas” made it clear that the distribution system was experiencing losses of some 30%! This mere voice will suggest that it is a hell lot more given experience and published data, not only in the developed world but more so in the Americas and Caribbean! If you are suppling 10 Million GPD with 30% loss you are not meeting the suggested(since there has been no Master Plan much less a Strategic and Implementation Plan by APUA) planned requirement of 8 MGPD! The additional projected supply with the KNOWN line losses will deliver 7 Million GPD! “Everything can be explained to the people, on the single condition that you want them to understand.” ― Frantz Fanon!

        The Other Critical Component is Storage for the Harvested Water! This system needs to be re-engineered! The Wells are exhausted and what is left are filled with salt and contaminated run-off water! Potworks Dam should be removed from the equation given that it would need to be rebuilt and above all with expected warming from Climate Change on the horizon, its evaporation rate which is approaching 2 million GPD makes it not sustainable and a losing proposition! A reengineered Storage System which is filled nightly from the desalination plants and provides water to the customers when needed would be more effective and efficient, help to protect the waterline distribution system from unpredictable and varying water pressures and prolong the useful lives of the old and new desalination plants! “The Afrocentric method considers phenomena to be diverse, dynamic, and in motion and therefore it is necessary for a person to accurately note and record the location of phenomena even in the midst of fluctuations. This means that the investigator must know where he or she is standing in the process.” – Asante!

  2. Antigua has been a drought stricken Island for many decades. Has not one damn thing to do with the so called Climate Change.I feel sorry for the GG reading that whatever Speech.Why do we need a Throne Speech? Antigua and Barbuda is an Independent Nation.We can have the Speech,just change the damn name ,call it the speech of the Administration.

    • Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! The Afrocentric paradigm is a revolutionary shift in thinking proposed as a constructural adjustment to black disorientation, decenteredness, and lack of agency. The Afrocentrist asks the question, “What would African people do if there were no white people?” In other words, what natural responses would occur in the relationships, attitudes toward the environment, kinship patterns, preferences for colors, type of religion, and historical referent points for African people if there had not been any intervention of colonialism or enslavement? Afrocentricity answers this question by asserting the central role of the African subject within the context of African history, thereby removing Europe from the center of the African reality. In this way, Afrocentricity becomes a revolutionary idea because it studies ideas, concepts, events, personalities, and political and economic processes from a standpoint of black people as subjects and not as objects, basing all knowledge on the authentic interrogation of location.” Dr. Molefi Asante, Afrocentricity, The Theory of Social Change!

      You need a Throne Speech because, even though Antigua and Barbuda have declared and are recognized as an Independent Nation, YOU HAVE SWORN ALLEGIANCE TO ELIZABETH AND HER HEIRS, you have bought into Cecil Rhodes White Supremacist Theory of A Commonwealth led by Britain and you are a British Parliamentary Democracy!

      A&B tried to jettison the British Crown Leading the Commonwealth, but got entangled in the election of the Grand Dame Patricia, whose sole purpose was to continue the House of Windsor’s Dynastic Control of the Commonwealth which she successfully executed in Malta! You may wish to interrogate the Ambassador and Fellow to Higher Education Institutions! “Afrocentricity is the substance of our regeneration because it is in line with … the best image and interest of African people. What is any better than operating and acting out of our own collective interest? What is any greater than seeing the world through our eyes? What resonates more with people than understanding that we are central to our history, not someone else’s? If we can, in the process of materializing our consciousness, claim space as agents of progressive change, then we can change our condition and change the world.” – Asante!

      Hopefully, one day a Government will be elected, which will jettison the existing 1981 Constitution which was given to A&B, and, will form an Assembly From, Of and By The People of African Descent to Create and Implement A New Constitution with no ties to the British Crown! “Come, then, comrades; it would be as well to decide at once to change our ways. We must shake off the heavy darkness in which we were plunged, and leave it behind. The new day which is already at hand must find us firm, prudent, and resolute. We must leave our dreams and abandon our old beliefs and friendships from the time before life began. Let us waste no time in sterile litanies and nauseating mimicry. Leave this Europe where they are never done talking of Man, yet murder men everywhere they find them, at the comer of every one of their own streets, in all the corners of the globe. For centuries they have stifled almost the whole of humanity in the name of a so-called spiritual experience. Look at them today swaying between atomic and spiritual disintegration.” Frantz Fanon, The Wretched Of The Earth!

      • @John French II
        Thank you for this post and allowing me to learn more about this subject and about Dr. Molefi Asante, with whom I was not familiar.
        I agree with what you’ve said here…. 🙂

      • @John French II
        Furthermore, I want to add, I totally support the idea jettisoning the existing 1981 Constitution and replacing it with a REPUBLIC of the people, by the people and for the people. This new government SHOULD reflect the majority of it’s citizens (Afrocentricity) as long as it GUARANTEES the RIGHTS of ALL citizens. These right MUST be INALIENABLE RIGHTS (rights with which we all are born and given to us by our creator) and not PERMISSIONS bestowed upon us by mere men.

        • Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! “Many if not most enslaved people were kept in a state of ignorance about anything beyond their immediate circumstances which were under control of owners, the lawmakers and authorities. When an enslaved person learned or was taught to read, it became their duty to teach someone else, spawning the phrase “Each one teach one”‘ which is an African American Proverb that has been widely adopted as a motto by many Teaching and Learning Organizations!

          “Many of the political prisoners on Robben Island, South Africa held during apartheid (1948–1991) were illiterate. Their mail was highly censored and reading materials limited. The inmates used the term, “each one, teach one” as a battle cry to ensure everyone in the movement was educated!”

          “The phrase is used as a slogan in literacy campaigns in Nigeria!”

          “Fighting for the freedom of one’s people is not the only necessity. As long as the fight goes on you must enlighten not only the people but also, and above all, yourself on the full measure of man. You must retrace the paths of history, the history of man damned by other men, and initiate, bring about, the encounter between your own people and others.” ― Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth!

    • @Black-Man
      Yeah, the ‘climate change’ boogeyman is becoming so overused that when I hear it, my eyes glaze over and only hear bla-bla-bla-bla. I feel embarrassed that the GG has to recite such drivel. ‘…and now a word from our propaganda minister.’ 🤣

  3. Is that per plant? Because if my Math is correct, that only works out to EC $5 per person per year. Seems highly affordable…

    • a little over $EC27/PERSON USING YOUR LOGIC… HIGHER IF YOU THE EXCLUDE 1/3 THE POPULATION WHO ARE DEPENDENTS (CHILDREN).

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