Unseasonal lack  of rainfall blamed for water shortage
January 15, 2010

Unseasonal lack of rainfall blamed for water shortage

An estimated 10 percent of the population has been affected by the water shortage affecting the country.{{more}}

Garth Saunders, General Manager of the Central Water

and Sewerage Authority, says even though 90 per cent of the population remains unaffected, the CWSA will continue to find ways to reduce inconveniences to the affected communities for as long as the dry spell continues.

Saunders, in a statement, attributed the low river flows at most of the water intakes to the severe and unseasonal lack of rainfall, which has occurred during the two traditional wet months of the year.

He disclosed that reports have shown that the total rainfall for November and December 2009 was only one-third of the normal two-month average of around 500 mm or 20 inches of rain.

“While it was customary to receive up to 2 inches of rainfall in one rainy day in the wet season, just 2 1/2 inches of rainfall was recorded for the entire month of December 2009,” stated Saunders.

Saunders noted that this dry spell meant that most rivers were down to their minimum base flows and the Montreal system supply capacity was reduced to below 50 per cent. According to Saunders, the new Jennings Water System might have averted a more serious problem. He said the large supply capacity of the new system was used to make up a large part of the shortfall on the Montreal System.