THE second regional workshop, which is part of the broader consultancy “Institutional and Organizational Strengthening of WASCO Saint Lucia and Regional Water Utilities”, was held in Saint Lucia at the Bay Gardens Inn from September 24th to 27th 2019. This consultancy is part of the Caribbean Aqua Terrestrial Solutions (CATS) Programme funded by the Deutsche Gesellschaftfür Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
The regional workshop brought together participants from the Water and Sewerage Company Inc (WASCO), and water utilities from St Vincent & the Grenadines, Jamaica, Belize, Dominica, St. Kitts & Nevis, Grenada and the British Virgin Islands to Saint Lucia for the week-long training initiative.
Held under the theme, “Measures and Activities to Reduce Non-Revenue Water,” the one-week session was a follow up to the first workshop held earlier this year in July 2019. It stemmed from the critical need to make utility companies in the region more resilient due to the vulnerability of their infrastructure, to the worsening adverse effects of climate change affecting the region. In addition to the training on Non-Revenue Water Reduction, the session also sought to promote more efficient use of precious water resources.
This regional workshop provided a platform for networking and the sharing of ideas and experiences on best practices among regional counterparts regarding network management and reducing Non-Revenue Water (NRW). Among the topics covered were organization and documentation of repairs; asset condition assessment, documentation, and action plan for replacement and maintenance work; HDPE and maintenance strategies; Use of Geographic Information Syetem in water network management and Methods and Instruments of NRW Reduction including smart metering.
The training stressed the importance of Non-Revenue Water Reduction as it reduces wastage on transmission and distribution networks to facilitate optimal use of limited water resources.
By reducing NRW, more water could be made available to customers and for use and storage purposes.
The workshop was facilitated by two experienced water professionals. One of these was Peter Blawat from Hamburg Wasser who has over 30 years’ experience with the company in the areas of network management and has also worked as an internal consultant on many projects. He is also the Network Management Expert on this ongoing consultancy. The second was Marc Luedtke from CONSULAQUA. He serves as a Project Manager and has experience in Water system design, operations improvements and a Trainer. He is the Hydraulic Modelling and Water Supply Concepts Experts for this ongoing consultancy.
A total of 20 participants received certificates of participation for completion of the training course. The intention is that these individuals will return to their respective utilities and share the knowledge and skills which they have acquired with their colleagues and implement some of the concepts and lessons learnt.