Water supply stressed during peak weekend

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 15, No. 12            March 23, 2005

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Last Friday, San Pedro Town residents and visitors began experiencing a shortage in their water supply. Since then, water pipes across the island have been empty during the nights and pressure has been very low during the days. Many expressed their concerns, especially since the busy Easter weekend was looming. The San Pedro Sun placed calls to Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL) and Chief Operations Officer Roy Tombs explained the situation.

    According to Tombs, the island’s demand on water has surpassed the supply. Numbers show a steady increase in the amount of gallons of water used every day by customers. In order to build up their reserve, BWSL has had to ration water to consumers. BWSL planned to disrupt supply Wednesday night from 9 p.m. until Thursday morning at 6 a.m. in an effort to restore the reserves, which will prevent any disruption in water supply to customers during the extremely busy Easter Holiday weekend. Tombs released a statement on Wednesday stating, “We would like to apologize for any inconvenience to our customers in San Pedro due to the disruptions in supply of water being experienced at present.” Tombs added that if disruptions must occur during the weekend, notices will be sent to the media to notify the public.

    Belize Water Limited (BWL) operates the desalination plant south of San Pedro and is the sole provider of water to BWSL. In an interview with The San Pedro Sun, Wade Van Doren, BWS Manager said, “We are running at capacity.” He went on to state that this year San Pedro is consuming much more water during these months than last year. According to Van Doren, BWS is producing approximately 368 thousand gallons of water a day.

    Both Tombs and Van Doren said they are working diligently to improve capacity at their sites by increasing storage capacity and upgrading the desalination plants. In the meantime, in order to reduce the stress on the system, they encourage the public to minimize their consumption as much as possible over this weekend.

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