St Lucia's Water Crisis Continues: Water-related Emergency Declares Nationwide

CASTRIES, July 10 (BERNAMA-NNN-GIS) -- The Water and Sewage Company (WASCO) in Saint Lucia announced that the island's drought is getting worse.

As a result, the water related emergency initially declared in March for the north of the island, has been expanded to the entire country.

"The flows in our rivers have not improved despite the recent rains and therefore the available raw water supply for extraction is at extremely low levels," WASCO stated.

At the last assessment, the dam's water level was 322 feet. Normal overflow levels are 333 feet. In light of this situation, the island-wide water rationing programme remains in effect. Every community will experience periodic outages in order to allow other communities to receive a supply of water.

WASCO managing director Vincent Hippolyte said that, until the rains come in sufficient quantity and volume, WASCO will continue to take precaution and ration water.

"Despite the [intermittent] rains and the greenery, drought conditions exist because the rivers are not moving," Hipployte said. "They do not have the volume of water that will enable WASCO to extract sufficient water to meet demand. [We are] in the early stages in the drought situation. It is not as severe as the middle or [later stages], but we are still in drought conditions." Experts predict the drought will persist through August.

The public is encouraged to use water conservatively, and store water properly to guard against the spread of vector-borne diseases.

The Water Emergencies Act enforces water conservation restrictions that limit lawn sprinkling, vehicle washing, golf course and park irrigation, and other nonessential uses.


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