Water Emergency In St Lucia
May 16, 2020
CASTRIES, St. Lucia, May 16, CMC – St. Lucia has declared a water emergency with effect from Monday, as it experiences an ‘exceptional shortage of rain or a serious deficiency of supplies of water exists or is threatened”.
Agriculture Minister Ezechiel Joseph said the emergency had been declared based on the advice of the Water Resource Management Agency and that the emergency will remain in effect until further notice.
The order prohibits the use of water from the pipes of the Water and Sewerage Company Inc. (WASCO) for a number of purposes, including washing a vehicle using a hose, watering a lawn, hedge, garden, farm, ground and recreational field, as well as pressure washing a house using a hose or watering a roadway, pavement, garage or path.
It also bars persons from using water from the pipes of WASCO for concrete mixing and block making, filing a swimming pool or filling a leaking or overflowing storage tank.
In addition, it is against the order for anyone to engage in an activity that may require the use of a considerable or excessive quantity of water.
A person who contravenes the order commits an offence, and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding EC$3,000 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months or to both.
The law also allows for a fine not exceeding EC$50 for each day during which the contravention continues.
Earlier this month, the Barbados-based Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) urged Caribbean countries to “closely monitor water resources and try to conserve as much as possible, at least until June/July” as the drought situation in the region worsens.
In its Caribbean Drought and Precipitation Monitoring Network Bulletin, CIMH said that there is concern for most of the Caribbean that the short term drought situation can impact agriculture, as well as the flow in small rivers and streams except in the vicinity of Cuba, the Bahamas, Jamaica and Cayman islands.
Monitoring water reserves and enhancing water conservation measures are recommended,” it said, noting that long term drought is evolving in Antigua, Barbados, northwestern half of Belize, Cayman Islands, parts of coastal and interior Guyana, St Kitts, the Windward Islands – Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.