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#430092 - 02/10/12 01:44 PM San Pedro Asked to Conserve Water
Marty Online   happy
Alerted on Possible Shortage!

Two years ago during Easter Break the island was faced with an inconvenient shortage of water and it seems that San Pedro might be faced with another disaster as such very soon!

The San Pedro Business Association (SPBA) was contacted by the General Manager of Consolidated Water Belize Limited (Water Company that sells water to Belize Water Services Limited who then distributes to consumers all over the island) that San Pedro might be facing a possible water shortage during high tourist season.

In his letters to the SPBA, Mr. Clifford Dillon, GM of CWBL, stated the community of San Pedro needs to be aware of that there is a serious issue with the water supply on the island. He continued by saying that since 2008, the Reverse Osmosis plant has run full time during high season and has just barely met demands. He warned that if we get a high season with as little as 5%-10% increase in demand over any of the last four years, CWBL will in all likely not be able to meet that demand.

During the Christmas holidays, the island had a spike in demand of water and CWBL had to produce between 440,000 – 460,000 gallons per day which is more than their contract maximum (420,000 gallons per day). In the letter he also stated that for the last four years the Island has been walking the razor’s edge as the water supply demand is barely being met. According to Mr. Dillon, if a new water capacity is not added on the Island soon, we will be out of water during high season.

Mr. Dillon stated to Ambergris Today that their contract states that CWBL will keep pace with the growing demands of Ambergris Caye. With this in mind, in 2008, they suggested to BWSL about extending water lines to North Ambergris Caye and adding more capacity to the demand of water supply on the island, but the project collapsed.

Click here for the rest of the story and more pictures in the Ambergris Today

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#430102 - 02/10/12 02:32 PM Re: San Pedro Asked to Conserve Water [Re: Marty]
Bear Offline
Excuse me but does anyone else see the 800 pound gorilla sitting in the room?

I wonder if the incumbent administration has plans to place commemorative "tombstones" (how apt) in front of the CWBL and BWSL offices to celebrate this little "accomplishment"?

Undoubteldy I'll catch some hell and ill will for being a non-Belizean critical of the current adminsitration and its lack of attention to such matters. I may not be able to vote but that does not mean I dont have a vested interest in the matter. I do, both philosophically and materially. If I didnt contribute to the revenues of the goverment I would not feel it appropriate to comment.

Is a water supply improvement project just too much of a task for the current local and area electorate to handle? and because of that do they shy away from a truly worthy challenge? or is there some other reason? There was a recent thread regarding business opportunities that hung its hat on a significant increase in tourism...oh really?

Please, someone make me eat my words and show me evidence of a concerted effort, a real plan, funded and on paper, that is moving forward to address this issue. I'll gladly eat my words and apologize to both the business, the agency,the SPTC, and our the honorable area representation. I see clocktowers, street monuments, and unfinished public parks, but little else.

It's time the voting population of San Pedro and the island woke up and realised that their favorite parties and elected officials have done nothing meaningful when it comes to significant public works projects. It's time that true public administrators and real stewards of public welfare are elected to office. People that can organize, unify, and gently but firmly move the GOB to put some bedding back into the nest of the goose that lays the golden eggs...

Poultry references aside, thank you Mother Nature for an abundant, and unusually providential rainfall this high season. At least my cisterns are full to overflowing (for the time being).

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#430146 - 02/10/12 03:55 PM Re: San Pedro Asked to Conserve Water [Re: Marty]
Keller Offline
Didn't the PUC change it to 450,000 gals/day from 420,000 gals/day? Shouldn't this notice be coming from BWS and not CWBL? ...or is it not just a fear tactic from CWBL to get a new contract?

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#430159 - 02/10/12 04:21 PM Re: San Pedro Asked to Conserve Water [Re: Marty]
Bear Offline
Perhaps Keller, but I seem to recall an episode of water shortage last year in high season as well. In additon to shortages there was also documentation and actions taken against the contractor for failure to meet water quality standards as a result of inadequate maintenance and adequate operating supplies (RO membranes).

I'd simply pose the questiuon in general: Do you not also find it odd (if not egregious*) that the public has exposure to contractual "blackmail" or failures of quantity and quality as a result of having such a vital public utility privately owned? (Which of course begs the question who exactly would be better operator, the GOB or a provate firm?) A question; are the facilties owned by CWBL?

If I recall correctly the GOB thorugh its appropriate agency had to step in and give the operator memebranes from its own stores with which to maintain adequate operational reserve and correct matters of substandard water quality.

* I am very much aware that such a statement reflects my lack of exposure and naivety to the way things are, or have been done.

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#430189 - 02/10/12 10:55 PM Re: San Pedro Asked to Conserve Water [Re: Marty]
Keller Offline
From Consolidated Water's website, they purchased the 470,000 gal/day facility about 12 yrs. ago. I have also read that their company can set up a temporary desalination plant for emergencies so in this case I'm sure they have one on the way just in case. wink Which is better....Government or private? Oh boy...that's a good question! LOL

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#430192 - 02/10/12 11:13 PM Re: San Pedro Asked to Conserve Water [Re: Keller]
Bear Offline
Originally Posted By: Keller
I have also read that their company can set up a temporary desalination plant for emergencies so in this case I'm sure they have one on the way just in case. wink Which is better....Government or private? Oh boy...that's a good question! LOL


I like your style Keller! cool

So basically that plant has been running balls out, with no operational reserve (and who knows how long at that rate)...MTBF (mean time between failures) is starting to ring in my ears...or maybe that's the clocktower

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#431155 - 02/23/12 01:30 PM Re: San Pedro Asked to Conserve Water [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Ambergris Caye “may face water shortage” during the High Season


Consolidated Water

There is a high possibility that islanders “may face a water shortage” during the high season come Easter. That’s the message communicated to the San Pedro Business Association (SPBA) by Dee Dillon, General Manager of Consolidated Water Belize Limited (CWBL) who is asking that a water conservation initiative be conducted.

In his letter dated December 27, 2011 to SPBA, Dillon wrote, “[...] you can imagine my concern when I learned that we can only make enough water to barely cover demands.” The demands are those currently being used by water consumers. With the expectation of an influx of tourists arriving at Easter, it is expected that consumption will go up, causing more demand for water on the island. “For at least the last four years this island has been walking the razor’s edge and I don’t want to be a Pollyanna (raise alarm) but when production = demand there is a serious water capacity problem by 50% -100%,” explained Dillon.

During the 2011 Christmas holiday CWBL says that their water plant produced between 440,000 to 460,000 gallons per day. With that production capacity, CWBL was barely able to maintain 21 feet of water in their reserve tank. Most of the water produced was sent to the Belize Water Service Limited’s (BWS) tank which barely had enough to supply the islanders.

CWBL is the only contracted water supplier from who BWSL is allowed to purchase water to resell to consumers on the island. BWSL has a minimum water contractual agreement to consume 290,000 gallons per day. According to BWS Chief Executive Officer Alvan Haynes, they required a little over 500, 000 gallons per day. “I am a bit surprise that Consolidated would be expressing concerns on that since they are the pump-water provider. They are the ones that have the plant,” said Haynes. According to Haynes, in 2005 BWS had appealed for an increase in CWBL plant capacity which they documented, requesting that they (CWBL) could provide up to 600,000 gallons per day. More recently in 2010 after the water quality and water shortage problem, Haynes said that CWBL stated that their maximum capacity is 420,000 gallons per day. “The concern is that demands may actually jump the 550,000 gallons per day during the peak season,” explained Haynes, an estimated 100,000 gallons per day more than what CWBL can actually provide. While a binding contract indicates a minimum quantity of water BWSL must buy from CWBL per day, Haynes pointed out that the contract states that CWBL should be able to provide at least 550,000 gallons of water per day. During the slow season water consumption fluctuates but Haynes indicated that on average over 300,000 gallons of water is being consumed per day on Ambergris Caye.

The contract, which was signed in 2004, also required that Consolidated install a 1 million gallon storage tank. Combined with BWSL storage, there should be 1.3 million gallons of water storage which can last at least three days should there be a water crisis. By all indications, from the correspondence, CWBL has not gained any meaningful storage as they are barely producing water to meet the daily demands.

After facing a water shortage in December 2010, BWSL had requested that CWBL increase their capacity production to 550,000 gallons per day. Based on the 2004 contract, BWSL cannot make their own water and must depend on their sole provider CWBL on Ambergris Caye. “Their choice as to what their plant capacity is is within their control,” explained Haynes.

And while Haynes aggresses that it is all enough reason for SPBA and residents to be concerned, they are held on to a contract with CWBL. Haynes indicated the concern is something Consolidated should address since they are the ones producing the water.

CWBL, in their correspondent to the SPBA indicated that “lower water rates generally result in higher consumption and less emphasis on conservation. Given the coming 7.2% drop in rates we might see more water use in the “baseline” in addition to the dramatic increases in demand during the high season,” explained Dillon. “If we have a high season with as little as 5%-10% increase in demand…. we will in all likely not be able to meet that demand,” indicated Dillon in his letter to SPBA.

At this time the Belize Tourism Board is predicting an increase in overnight tourism arrivals in Belize, a large amount of those will choose San Pedro as their destination. For that reason CWBL is advising SBPA to inform their membership that “they should do their best to inform guests/residents that conserving water is fundamental, especially during high season,” says the correspondence.

While educating the general populace and visitors about water conservation is a short term solution, CWBL has not indicated how they intend to address the situation on a long term. As the sole water producer on Ambergris Caye, they have yet to indicate how they intend to increase water production to accommodate the growing demands of BWS’s consumers. CWBL’s General Manager Dee Dillon promised to get back in contact with The San Pedro Sun, but as of press time, we have not received a response to our request for an interview.

In response to this developing uncertainty BWS has issued the following Press Release

PRESS RELEASE BWS CLARIFIES INFORMATION ON SAN PEDRO WATER SUPPLY

February 22, 2012

Belize Water Services (BWS) has recently been made aware of media coverage from San Pedro indicating a concern of a possible water shortage on the island during times of peak demand. BWS is committed by a contract agreement to purchase all water for distribution in San Pedro from Consolidated Water Belize Limited (CWBL). BWS has been requesting CWBL since 2005 to increase its capacity to adequately deliver water to the island based on growth projections. Our records show that as part of our recent Water Demand Review completed in January 2011, BWS requested CWBL to implement a maximum plant capacity of up to 550,000 gallons per day. However, CWBL proposed a maximum plant capacity of 420,000 gallons per day. BWS is totally committed to providing an adequate supply of potable water to each of its service areas and is especially aware of the importance of adequate water supply to San Pedro, our country’s largest tourist destination. In light of this unwavering commitment, BWS believes that any water shortage in the near future would be owing to CWBL, for their own reasons, not accepting our recommendations for the increased water production capacity. One of BWS’ main objectves is to provide high quality service at a reasonable price to customers. We pride ourselves in being fair to all consumers and ensuring customers’ satisfaction, which clearly necessitates an uninterrupted supply of water. BWS assures all our customers and consumers in San Pedro that we have plans in progress to ensure adequate water capacity for the continued growth of Ambergris Caye.

BWS – Delivering Water and More …

For more information regarding this or any other BWS Release, please contact:

Corporate Communications at Tel: 222-4757 Ext. 317 or 281 or via e-mail at corporate.communicatons@bwsl.com.bz

San Pedro Sun


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#431184 - 02/23/12 03:47 PM Re: San Pedro Asked to Conserve Water [Re: Marty]
Bear Offline
Quote:
Belize Water Services (BWS) has recently been made aware of media coverage from San Pedro indicating a concern of a possible water shortage on the island during times of peak demand...BWS has been requesting CWBL since 2005 to increase its capacity to adequately deliver water to the island based on growth projections...Our records show that as part of our recent Water Demand Review completed in January 2011, BWS requested CWBL to implement a maximum plant capacity of up to 550,000 gallons per day...However, CWBL proposed a maximum plant capacity of 420,000 gallons per day.


Couple of comments...apparently communication between the two parties is so good that there are no joint press releases...the populace continues to be at the mercy of a contractor's equipment limitations...the populace continues to be at the mercy of its public representatives inabilties to adequately negotiate and/or enforce...it would seem BWS has no contractual teeth with which to require increased capacity...it was my recollection from an earlier post (Keller, above) that evidence from CWB's own website indicates the plant design max is 470Kgal/day ...if so how is 550,000 possible? Maybe CWB's rating is deliberately understated....Why is there a contractual limit of only 420Kgal/day and no provision to supply more, if possible, at a higher rate (in fairness to CWB). Is the RO system once again incapable of handling an increased load again due to maintenance issues?

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#431186 - 02/23/12 04:11 PM Re: San Pedro Asked to Conserve Water [Re: Bear]
papashine Offline
one of there web sites say that they can produce up to 550,000 gal per day, another says 470,000,......I do not believe that they ever modified the plant to produce the 550,000 gal/perday, contractual negotiations with bwsl never came to a satisfactory conclusion,they wanted xpergal, bwsl wanted less pergal.
_________________________
Reality..What a concept!

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#431315 - 02/25/12 02:07 AM Re: San Pedro Asked to Conserve Water [Re: Marty]
elbert Offline
I think it worth pointing out that the Belize Water Services supply only a small segment of Ambergris Caye and more than 95% of the island does not connect to BWS but has independent water systems.
look at the map below. San Pedro is a very small portion and BWS lines run just about a half mile beyond its Northern border.

The developments North of this small area use wells and reverse osmosis systems.
The shortage would have zero effect on us.
_________________________
The Dive Shops Daily Blog
http://scubalessonsbelize.blogspot.com/

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