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15-m gallon water treatment plant set for Content, St Catherine

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THE National Water Commission (NWC) is far advanced in its plans to increase the water production capacity for the Corporate Area, by establishing a 15-million gallon water treatment plant under a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the announcement in his 2019/20 Budget Debate presentation in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

He said the treatment plant is proposed to be constructed at Content in St Catherine, at an estimated cost of $9 billion, and will use water from the Rio Cobre.

“It is expected that this agreement will be finalised in the first quarter of 2019/20 and implemented over the next 30 months,” he said.

Areas such as Portmore and sections of Spanish Town in St Catherine stand to benefit from the supply of this plant.

Additionally, Holness informed that the NWC is finalising negotiations for the expansion of the Roaring River Water Treatment Plant by five million gallons per day as well as the construction of 33 kilometres of transmission mains to support the tourism industry of Negril.

Meanwhile, the prime minister pointed out that the NWC is now in its fourth year to reduce non-revenue water (NRW) levels in Kingston and St Andrew.

“It is yielding success. By the end of January 2019, non-revenue water levels in Kingston and St Andrew were reduced from just over 60 per cent of production in mid-2017 to 48 per cent. This level of reduction is a significant achievement and augurs well for improvements in water supply efficiency in Kingston and St Andrew, and the financial performance of the NWC,” he said.

Holness added that the intention is to further reduce non-revenue water to “at most 30 per cent by the end of the third quarter of 2019/20”.

“In addition to reducing the NRW, the programme is also strengthening NWC’s institutional capacity to sustain the reduction and to put the company in a better position to operate its water supply network,” he said.

Similar NRW programmes are to be rolled out for Greater Spanish Town, South East St Catherine (Portmore) and for northern parishes – St Mary, St Ann, Trelawny, and St James – commencing by the end of 2019/2020.

The prime minister apologised for the inconvenience caused by disruptions due to the efforts of the NWC to reduce NRW across the Corporate Area.

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