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WATER WOES! — Island wide Emergency Declared

Water Emergency

A year old drought has forced the government to declare a water-related emergency for all parts of the island for the next two months.

However, “present weather conditions are expected to continue well into the rainy season as rainfall trends seem to indicate,” said a spokesperson from the meteorological office.

“Right now we have below normal rainfall and the forecast indicates that the trend will continue,” the meteorological officer said.

The situation is gloomier than it looks despite steps taken by the government to reduce the impact of this dry period which began last year.

According to the Met office in Vieux Fort last month’s rainfall at Hewannorra was 31.8mm which is way below normal.

Records show that the average rainfall for that area was 79.3mm between 1973 and 2014.

In respect of the George Charles Airport, rainfall recorded there for last month was 58.4mm, just below what is considered normal for the month but much below the average rainfall for that area which from 1967 to 2014 stands was 92.6mm.

“We are in a long term drought. The outlook for the next three months is that we are looking at below normal rainfall for Saint Lucia,” the meteorological officer said.

This means that even in the rainy season the country’s rainfall would be trending below normal. This drab forecast has caused government to institute certain measures to safeguard against water wastage.

“The information presented to me by the Water Resource Management Agency indicates that Saint Lucia is currently experiencing a long-term meteorological drought,” the Minister for Sustainable Development and Energy, Dr. James Fletcher said on Wednesday.

“When we observe the rainfall and flow rates in the Cul de Sac, Roseau, Vieux Fort and Fond d’Or watersheds we notice similar declining trends. In fact, for the Roseau River, the flow rate is currently below the minimum recorded flows for the month of May, based on data going back to 1992. Generally, the river flow rates around the island, are below what we would normally see as end of dry season base-flow rates” . To make matters worse, because of the intense heat being experienced, the rate of evaporation had increased,” Fletcher said.

“As of May 11, 2015, the water level at the John Compton Dam was 81.6 inches below the spillway, or a little less than seven feet below the high point of the dam. We are roughly at the same point we were last year, but with faster rates of decline of our water levels. If we do not take action, we expect the water level to drop an additional 6.8 feet by the end of May and a further 12 feet by the end of June. This would be catastrophic,” the minister said.

The Caribbean Drought and Precipitation Monitoring Network has issued a drought warning for the islands of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Antigua and Barbuda, Cayman Islands, Dominica, the eastern part of the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Martinique, St. Kitts, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and northern Guyana. Due to the emergence of an El Nino, which often results in a drier dry season later in the year. The forecast is that islands in the South Eastern Caribbean like Saint Lucia that have existing water shortages may not see any improvement until the Hurricane or wet season starts.

The government is presently monitoring the water situation and has taken a few steps, which, according to Fletcher, it hopes will reduce the impact of the dry period.

For instance in the north of the island two intakes at Vanard and Ravine Poisson have been activated. These intakes had been decommissioned some years ago and were no longer supplying water. However, as a result of their re-activation, the government hopes to place an additional 1.5 million gallons of water a day into the system for treatment at the Theobalds Treatment Plant at Ciceron.

“Said Fletcher: These intakes are not immune from the dry season and their production will decline progressively as the drought continues. We will also reduce the rate of abstraction of water from the John Compton Dam by reducing the number of pumps operating. This will help to slow the dramatic declines in the water levels in the reservoir. “

“Very importantly, the technicians at WASCO, through an ongoing Non-Revenue-Water Reduction Programme, have identified 13 major leaks on the raw water line from the dam to the Ciceron Treatment Plant. These leaks are being repaired and when this is completed, we expect to save approximately 700,000 gallons of water per day which was previously going to waste,” Fletcher said.

He said that a water source in Deglos will be activated, with the installation of a portable treatment plant and public stand pipes. This, he added, will help relieve the pressure on residents in surrounding areas. WASCO will also install temporary public standpipes in some of the most affected communities around the island and, with the assistance of the Ministry of Health will install temporary water tanks in some of these areas.

“The community of Babonneau will also benefit from the activation of a supply of 500,000 gallons at least once weekly from the John Compton Dam, as far as practicable. This will augment the approximate 300,000 gallons per day that is being collected from the Talvern and Marquis intakes. Dynamic programmes will be instituted in Dennery, Soufriere, Choiseul, Laborie, Micoud and Vieux Fort. In the community of Pierrot, for example, six public stand pipes will be set up to allow residents to access treated water from an existing spring source.

The National Emergency Management Organisation, (NEMO), will be mobilized to assist with trucking water to communities where water is urgently required, the Minister said.

According to Fletcher, WASCO will also enlist the assistance of the mobile telephone service providers to facilitate text blast messages, and the television stations will be used to stream water update messages. The Government-owned media houses, NTN and Radio Saint Lucia, will continue to serve as the peoples official stations for information on the water situation.

However the Minister warns that for these measures to work and to ensure that the inconvenience to residents in all parts of our island is minimized, government would need the peoples full cooperation and support.

He cautioned against drinking water or potable water as it is called, which is obtained from WASCO’s system, being used for activities like washing of vehicles, or watering lawns or gardens.

“ Also, anything that will cause contamination of our water sources, like the washing of vehicles in rivers, should stop immediately. We have also noticed that in recent times, some people have been illegally tampering with WASCO’s infrastructure. In particular, some individuals have been opening and closing WASCO’s valves to deny others water while ensuring that they get water. This is illegal and should not take place. We appreciate that many are inconvenienced by the water shortage, but the solution should not be to tamper or interfere with WASCO’s system. Call WASCO and notify them of your problem and they will assist,” the Minister said, adding that WASCO will attempt to respond as best it can, given the availability of water and other resources, to minimize the discomfort and the inconvenience that will be felt.

Micah George is an established name in the journalism landscape in St. Lucia. He started his journalism tutelage under the critical eye of the Star Newspaper Publisher and well known journalist, Rick Wayne, as a freelancer. A few months later he moved to the Voice Newspaper under the guidance of the paper’s recognized editor, Guy Ellis in 1988.

Since then he has remained with the Voice Newspaper, progressing from a cub reporter covering court cases and the police to a senior journalist with a focus on parliamentary issues, government and politics. Read full bio...


  1. Every household can check the toilet if there is a continue fine flow of water running down from the water tank. If this happens replace the flop valve in the water tank. It saves you water and $$$ !!!
    Cost = aprox. 10 EC

  2. Back in the 1970’s, when I was a hotel employee, every hotel on the island had one major swimming-pool; today every hotel has about 3 to 5 pools; some, like Jade Mountain, even have pools in every room.
    So the question is, does the hotel industry contribute to our water woes?

  3. Not all pool water come from “fresh”water sources. Some, in the wetter zones come from harvested rain water-on site. Still, others come from distilled seawater.
    I would bet that the obsession with washing vehicles and typical 3rd world laissez-faire over water conservation are the biggest culprits.

    1. “… others come from distilled seawater.”
      I have heard that distilled seawater is also used for drinking in places like Saudi Arabia and other arid seaside areas lacking sufficient freshwater; so if that’s the case, why haven’t these hotels on the island share their ‘know-how’ with our local government to help put an end to this recurring nightmare?

      1. Desalination of sea water is energy intensive, hence that’s easy for energy-rich countries luke Saudi Arabia. The U.S.V.I. utilizes desalination extensively, since most of the homes have built-in reservoirs, they are able to purchase water from tanker trucks.

        1. O.K., that’s cool; but if hotels in St.Lucia, according to MACH BETH, have the ability and resources to distil sea water, the government of St.Lucia should be able to do likewise, especially, during periods of severe drough.

          1. Kane, es ou se mem bougla ki ne en VIEUX MAL-KADEE lear ou bois wom blanc en ? LOL – ka tonbey en tut vieux cannal tu par tu. lol

        2. Kane,

          Please excuse me, but I just have to ask, are you some kind of alcoholic, wineno, crack-head, cough syrup, heroin addict ? What is it man ? We’re all Lucians and I am sure cousins, and we are eager to render assistance to your perpetual hallucination.

          Let me begin this work at your rehabilitation – ENERGY INTENSIVE MEANS THE PRODUCTION COST OF DESALINIZED WATER IS APPROXIMATELY EC $10 to $15 per gallon. Now let’s assume the Empty coffers of Government decided to subsidize the cost to the consumer, where would they get the money ?

          California’s economy, ranked in the top ten (countries) in the world, is water driven due to its agricultural output. That State is in the grip of a severe drought prompting the Governor to mandate all communities reduce water consumption by 25 %, but you think Bay Gardens is the solution to the water shortage in Lucia? Ow-wa garcon ou se en boug ki foo mem.

          I like the name La Toc much better than Golden Hope – Ah yes, that old military barracks where people smoked and ate dried coconuts after being confined to these dungeons for smoking Cannabis.

          1. Kane is an alcoholic, wineno, crack-head, cough syrup, heroin addict for suggesting that the government of St.Lucia invest in a water desalination plant to ease our recurring water woes? Wow!

            “Since the 1970s, California has dipped its toe into ocean desalination –talking, planning, debating. But for a variety of reasons — mainly cost and environmental concerns– the state has never taken the plunge until now.

            Fifteen desalination projects are proposed along the coast from Los Angeles to San Francisco Bay. Desalination technology is becoming more efficient. And the state is mired in its third year of drought….”

      2. Surah Al-Waqia
        In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful.

        We created you. Will ye then admit the truth? (57)

        Have ye seen that which ye emit? (58)

        Do ye create it or are We the Creator? (59)

        We mete out death among you, and We are not to be outrun, (60)

        That We may transfigure you and make you what ye know not. (61)

        And verily ye know the first creation. Why, then, do ye not reflect? (62)

        Have ye seen that which ye cultivate? (63)

        Is it ye who foster it, or are We the Fosterer? (64)

        If We willed, We verily could make it chaff, then would ye cease not to exclaim: (65)

        Lo! we are laden with debt! (66)

        Nay, but we are deprived! (67)

        Have ye observed the water which ye drink? (68)

        Is it ye who shed it from the raincloud, or are We the Shedder? (69)

        If We willed We verily could make it bitter. Why then, give ye not thanks? (70)

        1. I am curious. You have reminded us on this forum time and time again that Allah has no partners; that he stands alone; yet, the second line of your post, which comes from the Quran, says that ‘We created you’. And WE, a plural pronoun, which refers to more than one person or entity, was repeated at least a dozen times in your post; and thousands of times in the Quran.

          For Christians, the pronoun WE would obviously be taken to mean the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; but since Muslims don’t believe in neither the Son nor the Holy Spirit, my question then becomes, who does all those WE’s in your post and in the Quran refer to. I am just curious.

          1. Kane:

            I must say, that this forum exposes us to many vectors from the individuals writing the most interesting of articles to the many intellectuals exposing us to much information in these blogs.

            I have made no secret that I have always had difficulties with English, preferring to study Mechanical Engineering because of the difficulties I encounter in English. I did ENG. 102, (writing research papers) in the Summer Semester – very short Semester; about six weeks, and my professor Dr. Harry Smith kept telling us of his life’s experiences in the Navy – sorry I digressed.

            Anyway, the word “WE” has three meanings, and is not limited to plurality.

            There is the “WE” of HUMILITY, used when a speaker tell his audiences, “Proxima Centauri, our neighboring star is 4.2 light years from Castries, even though “we”, all of us don’t know that. The speaker chose WE instead of “I KNOW”.

            Then there is the “WE OF ROYALTY”, called the Majestic WE, or Royal Pronoun, and is used in Classical language to refer to a single person holding a high office. For example, the Basic Law of the Sultanate of Oman opens with “On the Issue of the Basic Law of the State We, Qaboos bin Said, Sultan of Oman…”.

            So when Christians say that, “Let US MAKE MAN” means, God, his son, and a Ghost they are either ignorant or lying to the people. In Arabic the NA or Kum is used as the Majestic Pronoun when Allah as Ruler and King of Creation speaks.

            Surah Al-Ikhlas
            In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

            Say: “He is Allâh, (the) One.[] (1)

            “Allâh-us-Samad (السيد الذي يصمد إليه في الحاجات) [Allâh the Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, (He neither eats nor drinks)]. (2)

            “He begets not, nor was He begotten;[] (3)

            “And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.” (4)

            Thanks for the question, I thought you were asleep, but I was wrong and beg you to accept my apology.

  4. Good work on fixing the pipes. That is a crucial step of long term planning, which also has short term gains as well. People should be encouraged to have their own tanks, no VAT charged.

    1. I am sorry to hear that you took your English course during the short summer semester, and your professor, instead of going over the singular and plural pronouns with you, decided instead to talk about his experience in the navy; what a bum. You should have demanded your tuition back.

      It is obvious that you didn’t get value for your money; and now you are left stranded, not able to explain to an alcoholic, wineno, crack-head, cough syrup, heroin addict like myself the true meaning of the we in: WE created you
      WE the creator
      We mete out death among you
      We are not to be outrun
      We may transfigure you…etc, etc.

      So until that stupid professor decides to give you your money back, or to clarify the plural pronoun WE, I think you should accept the WE in the Bible and in Quran to mean the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And by the way, It’s never to late to come back to the church my Prodigal Brother; we’ll accept you with open arms. We all make mistakes.

      1. Kane,

        I am trying to think highly of your intelligence, but your adversity to truth and reason is making the idea of incorrigibility manifest. You have totally ignored the concept of the Majestic Pronoun, we, as singular, choosing instead to remain stagnated in this falsehood that their is no such thing – what makes you so adverse to truth ?


        Surah Al-Kahf

        And (be mindful of) the Day when He will say: Call those partners of Mine whom ye pretended. Then they will cry unto them, but they will not hear their prayer, and We shall set a gulf of doom between them. (52)

        And the guilty behold the Fire and know that they are about to fall therein, and they find no way of escape thence. (53)

        And verily We have displayed for mankind in this Qur’an all manner of similitudes, but man is more than anything contentious. (54)

        And naught hindereth mankind from believing when the guidance cometh unto them, and from asking forgiveness of their Lord unless (it be that they wish) that the judgment of the men of old should come upon them or (that) they should be confronted with the Doom. (55)

        We send not the messengers save as bearers of good news and warners. Those who disbelieve contend with falsehood in order to refute the Truth thereby. And they take Our revelations and that wherewith they are threatened as a jest. (56)

        And who doth greater wrong than he who hath been reminded of the revelations of his Lord, yet turneth away from them and forgetteth what his hands send forward (to the Judgment)? Lo! on their hearts We have placed coverings so that they understand not, and in their ears a deafness. And though thou call them to the guidance, in that case they can never be led aright. (57)

        1. Gen. 3:22
          And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of US, to know good and evil…

          Son-of-man, is one of US, in this context, another Majestic Pronoun, or does it refer to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit?
          You know, I am trying hard to think highly of your intelligence, but your adversity to truth and reason is making the idea of incorrigibility manifest. lol.

        2. Kane:

          there are people who are trained parroting what they were trained to regurgitate, and others are educated given everything its due consideration and examination before accepting it as credible. You my friend fit the description of the former. I read the comment of your attainment to the “zenith of your field of work”, but I do not wish to make any more comments on your hallucinations – having an 8 to 5 “job” working for the Slave Master is far from zenith, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

          Albert Einstein said this:

          “It is essential that the student acquire an understanding of and a lively feeling for values. He must acquire a vivid sense of the beautiful and of the morally good. Otherwise he – with his specialized knowledge – more closely resembles a well-trained dog than a harmoniously developed person.”

          Albert Einstein must have had you in mind.

          1. Instead of trying to answer the question (Gen. 3:22) that was posed to you, you instead chose to defend the asshole that referred to a Certified Public Account as: “You anal bookkeepers are true cheap skates”, by quoting Albert Einstein to me?
            Well, until you get back to your senses, this well-trained dog, as you put it, will stay in his neck-of-the-woods. Thank you.


    According to renowned biblical scholar Bart D. Ehrman, Paul only wrote seven of 13 books attributed to him in the New Testament

    The remaining books are forgeries, Ehrman says. His proof: inconsistencies in the language, choice of words and blatant contradiction in doctrine.

    For example, Ehrman says the book of Ephesians doesn’t conform to Paul’s distinctive Greek writing style. He says Paul wrote in short, pointed sentences while Ephesians is full of long Greek sentences (the opening sentence of thanksgiving in Ephesians unfurls a sentence that winds through 12 verses, he says).

    The scholar also points to a famous passage in 1 Corinthians in which Paul is recorded as saying that women should be “silent” in churches and that “if they wish to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home.”

    Only three chapters earlier, in the same book, Paul is urging women who pray and prophesy in church to cover their heads with veils, Ehrman says: “If they were allowed to speak in chapter 11, how could they be told not to speak in chapter 14?”

    1. “According to renowned biblical scholar Bart D. Ehrman, Paul only wrote seven of 13 books attributed to him in the New Testament.”
      Are you on drugs or something? What on earth does Gen. 3:22 (And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of US, to know good and evil…) has to do with the 7 or 13 books of Paul?
      Man, answer the frigging question that was posed to you: Is one of US, in this context, another one of your Majestic Pronouns, or does it refer to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit?
      And stop hiding behind Paul’s coattail.

      1. I keep overestimating your comprehending abilities by assuming you are capable of extrapolating from known quantities, but you continue to disappoint. I was trying to tell you as politely as possible, the Bible is a fabricated compilation of nonsense.

        The four canonical Gospels in the New Testament were originally anonymous. The names of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were not attached to them until the second century.

        As is the case with all the Gospels, it is unknown exactly when the Gospel of Mark was written. Most scholars believe that it was written by a second-generation Christian, around or shortly after the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Second Temple in year 70.

        Numerous early sources say that Mark’s material was dictated to him by St. Peter, who later compiled it into his Gospel. The Gospel, however, appears to rely on several underlying sources, which vary in form and in theology, and which go against the story that the Gospel was based on Peter’s preaching.

        Biblical scholars generally hold that Matthew was composed between the years c. 70 and 100 and the author was probably a Jewish Christian writing for other Jewish Christians.

        As is the case of the Gospel of Luke, scholars have proposed a range of dates from as early as 60 A.D. to as late as 90 A.D. and it was penned by the same author who wrote Acts of the Apostles.

        A majority of scholars find it unlikely that John the Apostle wrote the Gospel of John because the Gospel is a deeply meditated representation of Jesus’ character and teachings rather than a plain account of Jesus’ ministry.

        1. The Book of Genesis, which our argument is based on, is part of the Old testatment/Torah which is attributable to the same Moses that the Quran spoke so much of; and not part of the 4 canonical Gospels in the New Testament; separate writings by separate authors hundreds of years apart.
          Therefore, if the Bible is a fabricated compilation of nonsense, as you put it, so is the Quran; for 90% of the Quran comes from the Old and New testaments.. Man, get your act together.

        2. Kane:

          Is it this pornographic nonsense you want me to use as the subject of discussions ?

          Genesis 19:30-36New International Version (NIV)

          30. Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave.

          31. One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to give us children—as is the custom all over the earth.

          32. Let’s get our father to drink wine/get drunk and then commit adultery/sleep with him and preserve our family line through our father.”

          33 That night they got their father to drink wine/drunk, and the older daughter went in and FU@#ED/slept with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

          34 The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I slept with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.”

          35. So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

          36 So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father.

          Kane, is this what you teach your little girls? I have already determined your addiction to intoxicants, even inquiring if you were someone afflicted with alcoholism. But of course the bible gives you a blow by blow account of how it’s done – but you have three daughters, that might be too much for you.


          1. Lot is not as important a figure in history as Muhammad, the founder of your Islamic religion; yet, Muhammad found it necessary to have sex with 9 year old Aisha, the daughter of Abu Bakr; thereby strengthening the ties between the two men, and leading directly or indirectly to the Sunni/Shiite division that we have today.

            And I would bet my bottom dollar that Lot’s two daughters were at least consensual adults; whereas, Aisha was just a child.

            So the Bible vs Muhammad’s Quran, I would choose the Bible.

  6. No rain in California but in Texas ?

    Widespread flooding caused by heavy rains in Texas and Oklahoma left 17 dead and 40 missing or unaccounted for, in addition to more than 4,000 damaged properties and 2,500 abandoned vehicles in the Houston area alone, Mayor Annise Parker said Tuesday afternoon.

    Storms dumped record rainfall on the Plains and Midwest, caused major flooding and spawned tornadoes, including one twister that killed 13 people in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Acuna, the Associated Press reported.

    The water continued rising overnight as about 11 more inches of rain fell, much of it in a six-hour period.

  7. I understand the need to ration water, I wish there was some equity in the rationing. There are communities that go the entire week without water while others don’t miss at all. Send some water to places like Rock Hall!!

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