With continuous efforts to improve the water supply and service to existing customers, the NWC haspartnered with European-owned water operator Miya to assist with the reduction of water losses in Kingston and St. Andrew. In 2015, Miya won the bid for the project, which is being implemented through a comanagement model that allows the NWC to use its own staff to implement much of the needed work, as well as its equipment and infrastructure, through the up-skilling of its local workers.
At a recent site visit conducted in the Rockfort and Nannyville communities, where the project has been implemented, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth & Job Creation; and General Secretary of the People's National Party, Julian Robinson; joined the NWC and Miya, on a tour to review the successful installation of ‘state of the art’ metering systems in the areas.
The installation of high accuracy meters, in addition to other activities carried out, ensure even distribution of water to all NWC users, while detecting and repairing numerous leaks found in the homes of many residents. This forms part of the Non-Revenue Water (NRW) Reduction Programme being executed by the NWC and Miya in Kingston and St. Andrew (KSA).
Based on preliminary findings, Socially Challenged Areas (SCAs) like Nannyville and Rockfort experience high volume losses of approximately 70 to 85%. In response to this severe water loss, Miya and the NWC ramped-up efforts in both communities, resulting in an average NRW reduction from 80% to less than 30% over the phased period.
The work carried out in Nannyville and Rockfort was centralized around two objectives: The Reduction of System Input Volume - enabling the NWC to effectively control the volume of water entering both communities and Accurate Billing - correctly measuring water being used up by consumers who were on a fixed billing system.
These improvements will result in higher bills for some consumers who were paying a fixed fee but were consuming far more than what they were being billed for. The overall initiative is geared towards reducing high commercial loss incurred by the NWC and to deliver a more efficient water supply system across Jamaica. The scope of the programme also factors in the sensitization of consumers about water conservation practices. With the new meters now installed, consumers are also better able to moderate their water consumption and monthly billing expenses.