Home News Local news LIBURD PUTTING WATER FOR ST. JOHN ON THE TABLE

LIBURD PUTTING WATER FOR ST. JOHN ON THE TABLE

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July 10, 2001 – Senator-at-Large Almando "Rocky" Liburd wants a permanent solution to St. John's constant water woes.
In the winter with the influx of villa visitors, the island's only desalinization plant cannot meet the demand. And in the summer when there are droughts, residents constantly run out of water, often waiting days or weeks for a water delivery.
Liburd is proposing new desalinization plants in Cruz Bay next to the current plant and in Coral Bay to meet the demand of that rapidly expanding community.
He intends to seek support at Wednesday's Finance Committee meeting for an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2001 Supplementary Budget to appropriate $2.5 million from the St. John Capital Improvement Fund to pay for the project.
The current desal plant can produce 150,000 gallons a day. "It's not enough," he said. "We need at least 300,000 gallons to meet the demand," adding, "We shouldn't be living like this in 2001."
Liburd said he spoke recently with Joseph Thomas Jr., the new executive director of the V.I. Water and Power Authority, whose long-range plans include running a water pipeline from St. Thomas to St. John. Liburd isn't comfortable with relying on "another island" for St. John's water supply. Plus it would take years to implement.
He said the desal plant for Cruz Bay could be fully operational by the end of 2002. Building it on the same site as the current plant would save time since the location is already permitted.
Liburd said a condition of awarding the contract for the Cruz Bay plant should be providing Coral Bay with a plant too.
As it stands now, water trucks servicing the island's East End have to cross the entire island to deliver.
Liburd said once the production problem is solved, "We can focus on distribution."
Currently water is piped only in Cruz Bay, which he said doesn't help the people "in Pastory or Contant."
Thomas could not be reached for comment, but Liburd said he didn't sense any major objections coming from WAPA's director.
"Each island must have stability," Liburd said. "I want to bring closure to this problem."
Liburd said he expected support from his colleagues for the desalination plants at Wednesday's meeting.

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