In light of the recent water issues, the Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL) broke the silence on Friday, April 9th, 2010 when they held a press conference at the Sun Breeze conference room. Present for the meeting were some of the company’s top brass who were ready to discuss the water problem with the general public.
|BWSL executives meet with business owners and concerned citizens.|
Alvan Haynes, Chief Executive Officer of BWSL, explained the situation with those present. During his explanation, Haynes stated that BWSL is in the business of selling water but unfortunately since not much water was being made available to them by the producing company, Consolidated Water Services Limited, BWSL had no alternative but to ration the water during the Easter holidays. “Consolidated Water was not able to produce the capacity to meet the demand of the Easter vacation. And that is simply because there is a peak in demand over the Easter due to the influx of visitors. Essentially they are having a problem at the plant where they cannot meet the normal capacity because their membranes are being fouled […] It was at 10 feet out of a possible 42 feet of storage so at that point we were informed of the situation. We have since been in touch with them, they have changed membranes twice and they are saying that they can’t get the membranes clean. […] so it’s a serious concern for them because of the cost and it’s a serious concern for us because we need to make sure we have adequate production to continue meeting the daily demand in San Pedro. […] It is no secret that there have been developmental works going on in the back there. As to whether that is the direct cause of the problem it will have to be determined. In discussion with Consolidated Water we have been exploring the thought of drilling additional wells nearby to see if we can locate alternate water or determine if the problem would lie in those wells. […] In the meantime as intermediaries as distributors of water on the island we will continue to put pressure on Consolidated Water to try to get them to continue to produce the required demand.”
Haynes went on to explain that Consolidated Waters has submitted water samples and has sent their membranes to laboratories in the United States in an effort to find out where the problem lies. The problem will not be able to be fixed until those results are finalized and it will be up until then to discuss what measures need to be taken. During the meeting, Haynes stated that in the interim, BWS has requested from the Department of Environment (DOE) that any development in that area be halted until the results are completed. Speaking with Jevon Hulse of DOE, no formal request has been submitted although there have been discussions about it.
Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr., Area Representative for Belize Rural South, explained that he himself has had a discussion with Herman Longsworth of BWS who stated that no request has been submitted by the company. Honorable Heredia explained that since the results have not been finalized, blame cannot and will not be pinpointed anywhere.
In the meantime, BWS stated that while the results are completed, water pressure will be lowered in the mornings and in the evenings until the situation is remedied. BWS requires half a million gallons of water to meet demand but have only been receiving seventy five thousand gallons of water from Consolidated Water Services Limited.