Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 20, 2022 (SKNIS): A plan to bring relief to persons affected by water shortage in the Frigate Bay area is being negotiated between the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.

During the Budget Debate on December 19, 2022, Minister responsible for water, the Honourable Konris Maynard, said that St. Kitts Marriott Resort is currently not utilising its full desalination capacity, which opens the door for a sharing agreement.

“The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Marriott are finalizing an agreement for the supply of up to 300,000 gallons of water per day to the Frigate Bay area by February 2023,” Minister Maynard stated. “This would be able to serve a significant portion of the Frigate Bay and Southeast Peninsula area which would then allow for the water normally sourced from the Basseterre aquifer for Frigate Bay to be redirected to other affected areas in the Basseterre Basin.”

Once the negotiations and testing are finalized, the Minister said that 150,000 gallons can be provided by the Marriott almost immediately.

The relief in demand for water from the aquifer will be extremely important as the Water Services Department was forced to suspend water supply to areas in Basseterre, Bird Rock, Shadwell, Frigate Bay, and the Southeast Peninsula from 7 p.m. The reason cited was “extremely low” water levels at the reservoirs.

“We have been depleting our aquifer faster than it could recharge,” Honourable Maynard said. “The result is that we are now seeing the signs of saltwater intrusion as our freshwater levels are getting dangerously low. Additionally, as the Earth continues to warm due to climate change, we see that our seawater levels are rising, which will resultantly compromise our freshwater table.”

Citizens, residents, and visitors were strongly encouraged to join the national effort to protect water resources by implementing conservation practices.
The Government will also continue to enhance water security by repairing faulty pumps and pipes, drilling new wells, and constructing two solar-powered desalination plants.