Water Prohibition to Start Again in Barbados Soon as Island Continues to Experience Drought

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday February 20, 2020 – Barbadians can expect their water use to be curtailed once again.

Minister of Energy and Water Resources Wilfred Abrahams has disclosed that Cabinet had approved the re-introduction of the water prohibition, which was first introduced in June last year as part of the Ministry and the Barbados Water Authority’s (BWA) Drought Mitigation Measures. That prohibition expired on November 30 last year.

But Abrahams explained that Barbados was in a drought at the beginning of the year and rainfall had been less than expected, so a decision was made to reintroduce restrictions on water usage.

“The projections are that at best, we will have a normal dry season. So, if we are already in a water deficit coming out of the rainy season and we are going to have a normal dry season, then it is going to be difficult for the rest of the year,” he said yesterday.

“Things being what they are and the water situation being what it is, it’s necessary now for us to reintroduce the prohibition. And, once the Water Authority has settled the exact form of it, we will come back…and explain and answer questions on that. But I will tell you that Cabinet has already agreed to the Water Authority’s…and the Ministry’s request.  We are still in a drought situation; we are still water scarce and the demand for water is great.”

The Water Resources Minister said that during the last prohibition, the BWA depended largely on the goodwill of people and the ability of Barbadians to self-police their water usage.

No one was prosecuted under last year’s drought mitigation restrictions. However, Abrahams said, the situation was now so serious that the BWA would be looking at fully enforcing the prohibition.

“For the most part, Barbadians understand what we are going through and the challenges that the Water Authority face with respect to the delivery and distribution of water. It was not necessary to charge anybody the last time, but chances are this time around the prohibitions are going to be a bit more stringent.

“We now don’t have the latitude with the water situation being what it is to depend on the goodwill of people, so we are hoping that everybody tows the line and there is no need to take it any further.  But, the Government and the Water Authority will do what they have to secure the water supply to the benefit of Barbadians,” he emphasized.

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