A Water Crisis in St Lucia?

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Above: St Lucia

By the Caribbean Journal staff

St Lucia is in what its government is describing as a “water crisis.”

And the crisis, initially declared for the north of the island, has expanded to the entire country, as the island’s Water and Sewage Company said a drought on the island has intensified.

“The flows in our rivers have not improved despite the recent rains and therefore the available raw water supply for extraction is at extremely low levels,” WASCO said in a statement.

At the most recent assessment, the dam’s water level was at 322 feet, while normal overflow levels are 333 feet.

“In light of this situation, the island-wide water rationing program remains in effect,” the government said. “Every community will experience periodic outages in order to allow other communities to receive a supply of water.”

WASCO Managing Director Vincent Hippolyte said that, until rains come in sufficient quantity and volume, the company will continue to “take precaution and ration water.”

“Despite the [intermittent] rains and the greenery, drought conditions exist because the rivers are not moving,” Hippolyte said. “They do not have the volume of water that will enable WASCO to extract sufficient water to meet demand. [We are] in the early stages in the drought situation. It is not as severe as the middle or [later stages], but we are still in drought conditions.”

The government said that experts predicted the drought would persist through the month of August.

In a statement, the government said it was encouraging the public to use water conservatively, and to store water properly to guard against the spread of vector-borne diseases.