Desalinization plants are being considered by the Saint Lucia government in a bid to help the country prepare for severe drought conditions.
The disclosure was made today by Minister with responsibility for the Public Service, Information, Broadcasting, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, Doctor James Fletcher.
Fletcher told a news conference at the office of the Government Information Service (GIS) that talks are being held with two developers on commissioning two desalinization plants.
The Minister revealed that the plan is for one plant to be established in the North of the Island and the other in the South.
He said the plants would be available if necessary to augment water supplies if they fall below “critical levels.”
The Minister also said that work on the John Compton Dam is progressing smoothly.
Fletcher noted that as far as he was aware, the tenders were opened.
He revealed that the result of that process is now with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
Fletcher told the news conference that once that process is completed, it goes back to the Tenders Board and the contract will be awarded.
“We are still on target for the commencement of work this rainy season,” the Minister declared.
According to Fletcher, the work on the John Compton Dam is important because Saint Lucia will have to deal with a drought that is already suggesting that it will be ominous and problematic.
“It means that what we do between now and the start of the rainy season will be very important,” he said.
Fletcher asserted that the Water and Sewerage Company (WASCO) has already put a drought management plan in place, starting much earlier this year than last year and previous years.
“Unfortunately this is something we will have to live with for years to come,” he declared.
The Minister said the weather patterns are changing and all the projections for climate change suggest a ten to twenty percent reduction in water availability, which is the result of warming of the planet.
“We have to prepare for that eventuality and take the steps to help us better manage our water resources.”