On Monday February 22nd, Commissioner Bruce Zagers met with a delegation with representatives from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, the Inspectorate for Drinking Water ILT and water company, Vitens Evides International (VEI) to discuss the progress being made on improving both the supply and quality of water on Saba.
Several projects are ongoing to increase the availability of water in times of drought, to improve the quality of drinking water, and to structurally lower the cost of drinking water. The new cistern in Windwardside, as well as the cisterns that will be built at the soon to be constructed school in St. Johns and in the Fort Gut below the power plant, are meant to increase the storage capacity of water on the island. The delegation was also invited to attend the ceremonial opening of the new parking lot in Windwardside as the cost to build the cistern was covered by their ministry.
During the meeting Commissioner Zagers requested that the water subsidy be reintroduced so that the water prices could be reduced. The Commissioner announced that this request was well received and will go in effect on March 1, 2016. Commissioner Zagers went on to say that, “the subsidy is only a short term measure which isn’t structural. However, all efforts are being made to structurally reduce the price of water on the island through the various projects that are in the pipeline.” Other projects that were discussed are the piping system from the Fort Bay to The Bottom, the feasibility study on a bottling facility for drinking water on Saba, the introduction of the new Law on Electricity and Drinking Water that is expected to go into effect on July 1st 2016, and the draft agreement between the Public Entity and VEI for technical support of several water projects. This agreement will be signed in March.