Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 19, 2023 (SKNIS): Solutions to reduce the water shortages and improve water management in St. Kitts and Nevis were outlined by the Honourable Konris Maynard, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Energy and Utilities in his contribution to the 2024 Budget Debate on Monday, December 18, 2023.
The minister detailed significant advancements in the country’s water infrastructure, noting that a cornerstone of these developments is the construction of a groundbreaking desalination plant. Minister Maynard highlighted the finalization of an agreement with Royal Utilities.
“We are going to build a two million gallon desalination plant. There were three proposals evaluated, and Royal Utilities was adjudicated as the best,” stated Minister Maynard, noting that local officials will leverage the 20-year expertise in desalination within St. Kitts offered by Royal Utilities.
Honourable Maynard also announced that the previous arrangement with Royal Utilities, which currently provides up to 400,000 gallons in the Frigate Bay area has expanded with the construction of a new pump house, enabling increased water transfer from the Marriott Plant to storage facilities, thus addressing the needs of the South East Peninsula and surrounding regions.
In an ambitious move to exploit untapped natural water resources, Minister Maynard noted that the government has engaged Dr. Roland Hoag, President of Bear Rock Consulting, Inc., in the United States for a comprehensive hydrogeological analysis of St. Kitts’ aquifers. Minister Maynard said that Dr. Hoag will analyze the accumulated geophysical, hydrogeological, and geological data. His task basically, is to pinpoint prospective well sites for immediate drilling. By visiting various locations, he will determine the most promising sites, ensuring precise drilling targets are identified.
Minister Maynard emphasized the holistic approach to water management.
“He is going to come with a recommendation of a new technology that would allow an aircraft to fly over St. Kitts – and we are going to propose to come to Nevis as well – that will be able to map the potential water sites from the air in St. Kitts and Nevis such that we know where we must zero focus and find the exact place to drill,” he explained.
Minister Maynard reiterated the government’s dedication to managing water resources sustainably.
“We have engaged the industry professionals to tell us where all the water in St. Kitts exists. So, we are not just doing desalination water, we are exploiting any other groundwater resources that we have,” he asserted.
The honourable minister said that this multifaceted approach promises to secure and enhance the water supply for the people of St. Kitts and Nevis, addressing both immediate needs and long-term sustainability.