WASA CEO Alan Poon-King, centre, chats with Anand Jaggernath, head operations south, left, and Glason Gurusaransingh, head operations, north, after a press conference at WASA’s St Joseph head office yesterday.

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The Water and Sewerage Authority said yesterday, it has suffered a 40 million gallon daily shortfall, as a result of the severe dry season.

WASA said it has started redistribution efforts to help alleviate water shortages across the country.

Chief Executive Officer Allan Poon King said the utility had looked to the use of groundwater wells and collaborations with desalination plants to address some of the shortages.

Speaking during a news conference at WASA’s St Joseph head office, Poon King warned however, that the supply redistribution to Penal and Debe, where there are thousands of complaints, would continue to be challenge.

“The communities in South Trinidad that we’ve been getting complaints from recently would have been Debe and Penal. We do have, well Debe is supplied by our Caroni Treatment Plant and there is no potential for groundwater in that particular area. Penal, we do have a small water treatment plant that does utilise wells but the majority of our water resources are concentrated in North Trinidad,” he said.

“The particular areas, Central Trinidad as well we do have two plants and we do have maintenance work that will be done on those wells, we have three well plants at Las Lomas, Freeport and Carlsen Field they are all supplemented by the Caroni Water Treatment Plant. So I would say the majority of the sources are external to Central and South Trinidad, all the large water sources so that is why we have to transport water to Central and South.”

Poon King said 40 million gallon shortfall was equivalent to the daily output of the Point Lisas Desalination plant alone.

He explained that Caroni Water Treatment Plant, which was responsible for the water sent to Penal/Debe and other areas in south-west Trinidad is now producing 40 million gallons daily as opposed to its usual throughput of 75 million.

Poon King also admitted that the lack of metering around the country made it difficult to monitor if water usage had increased or declined due to stay-at-home measures.

“We don’t have the number of metres we would like to have installed, so to definitively say it’s gone up or gone down, I can’t say at this time. What we can say is the usage pattern would have change and so that with the stay at home in place, the system is not, the demand on the system is not the same as it was before,” he said, however, explained that metering remained in WASA’s plans.

“We are progressing, getting what we refer to as bulk meters which would give data of flows in our network so that is being progressed at this time.”

Former Minister of Public Utilities Robert Le Hunte resigned from the post two weeks ago, after his plans for a rehaul of WASA with a focus on a metering system were reported shut down in Cabinet.