Jamaica institutes water rationing


The National Water Commission (NWC) says it will be implementing water restrictions for sections of the Corporate Area as of Monday as it indicated that several of its water supply systems across the island are being affected by worsening drought conditions.

The NWC said that as of last Thursday, the Mona Reservoir was at 34.7 per cent of capacity and the Hermitage Dam was at 31.4 per cent.

It said that the six-hour water restrictions daily would affect several communities served by the two reservoirs and that it is also customers to store water as necessary for use.

The NWC announcement follows the warning by the Barbados-based Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) that the drought situation in the Caribbean is expected to continue into the early wet season as weak El Niño conditions are forecast to persist.

In its latest Caribbean Climate Outlooks bulletin released here, the CIMH said that for the period May to July recurrent dry spells are forecasted, except for the Windward Islands and Guianas.

CIMH said that severe “or worse” drought has developed in Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, central Belize, French Guiana, northern Guyana, Martinique, St. Kitts, and eastern Trinidad on the shorter term, and in southern Hispaniola on the long term.

It said that the shorter term drought is evolving in Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Vincent, and Trinidad and Tobago, while long term drought is evolving in Antigua, west-central Belize, Cayman, Dominican Republic, north-eastern Guyana, St. Kitts, Trinidad and Tobago and the

NWC Communication Manager, Charles Buchanan, speaking on a local radio programme here, said that despite the negative forecast, he hopes the rainfall during the month of May “may not be significantly below normal.

“But even more important for us is where the rain falls,” he said, noting that “there are parts of the country that are more severely impacted by the continuing dry season than others, and there are also areas that are more responsive to early rainfall,” he added.

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