Late Prime Minister’s 2009 Address to the BWA

BWA_artist_impression_thumb.pngThe following address delivered by the late Prime Minister David Thompson in 2009 merits a repost in the prevailing climate. This week Minister David Estwick assured Barbadians in the North BWA’s tactical response to water woes will be the installation of water tanks.


Read full text of – Thompson’s BWA Address

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65 Comments on “Late Prime Minister’s 2009 Address to the BWA”

  1. Mocking bird October 7, 2015 at 9:30 AM #

    Are we buying tankers to transport the collected water to the plasma gasifier??


  2. David October 7, 2015 at 10:00 AM #

    Interesting to listen to commentators on the state of water distribution and management in Barbados given the challenge being experienced. Yes Barbadians should take matters into their hands and install water tanks, it does not give a pass to the managers of the BWA. Barbadians have developed a cuhdere mentality because Joyanne Haig appears to give willing access to the media.


  3. Due Diligence October 7, 2015 at 11:45 AM #

    The man could sure deliver a good speech


    “New Headquarters

    The Authority is a tenant even at this Manor Lodge complex which serves as its headquarters. It had for some time been desirous of building a new headquarters at Pine Hill and to this end had engaged the services of an Architect.

    The hurried abandonment of the administration building in the Pine at the end of March because of environmental problems has served to impress on us all the need for the BWA to have a headquarters of its own.

    Housing of staff in acceptable accommodation has become top priority as more and more emphasis is placed on matters of safety and health.

    Work has restarted with the aim of bringing this project to completion and it is hoped that the final move to a BWA headquarters can take place in about two (2) years.”

    September 2015

    BWA to move into new headquarters soon

    It was hoped that the final move to a BWA headquarters can take place in about two (2) years.

    I guess six (6) years is pretty good.


  4. Colonel Buggy October 7, 2015 at 1:48 PM #

    In the year 1955 the Redifusion came back on in the early hours of the morning , to alert the residents of Barbados that Hurricane Janet was at our door steps.
    In the year 2015 the noise of the replenishing toilet tanks in the early hours of the morning alert residents of the northern parishes that the supply of water is temporarily back on.


  5. St George's Dragon October 7, 2015 at 1:52 PM #

    Estwick is in the paper this morning pushing another desalination plant.
    Desalination is very expensive and should be the last resort. Before we embark on another desal plant we should develop a water management strategy and have a plan in place for cutting water consumption and capturing rainfall. There are easy things countries can do to cut potable water consumption such as making low-flow or dual flush sanitary appliances mandatory; requiring new buildings to store (and critically use) rainwater for toilet flushing and irrigation.
    As with Cahill, it’s a mistake to think that a big capital investment project is the answer.


  6. Colonel Buggy October 7, 2015 at 1:52 PM #

    Mocking bird October 7, 2015 at 9:30 AM #

    Are we buying tankers to transport the collected water to the plasma gasifier??
    A few weeks ago I saw a number of heavy duty Truck /Tractor units, painted in BWA colours at a truck importer in Warrens. Presumably these units are to pull massive water tanks.


  7. Wily Coyote October 7, 2015 at 2:17 PM #

    Find it strange, well not really, that Bajans are not asking — ARE WE OUT OF WATER from the underground aquifers ?

    I suspect water wows are a direct result of the water supply being depleted.


  8. Donna October 7, 2015 at 2:48 PM #

    Water woes.


  9. David October 7, 2015 at 4:52 PM #

    We have ministers an acolytes complimenting the fire service for servicing chicken farms in the North. Tell Kellman this is the symptom, the issue is good management by successive government would have stave off this problem.

    Here is the new minister of energy in T&T. Some can learn from her.



  10. Paradox October 7, 2015 at 9:24 PM #

    When it rains, too much rain- water ends up in the sea. One only has to look out to sea to notice the colour of the water has changed from blue to brown. Some of this water can be trapped inland which will eventually assist in maintaining underground aquifers.

    Gullies were formed over a period of time water passes over land taking the nearest route to lower parts of the Island and eventually the sea. Some of this water can be trapped in the same gullies.

    Barbados is a small Island. Water-mains can be linked up, North, South, East ,West, so when water becomes scarce in one of the areas mentioned above, water can be transferred to the most critical area(s). Note there are some areas on the Island with higher rain-fall than is needed for that area.

    As a (any) country develops, not only do people get rich(er), but more surface of the land is covered by more buildings, pavings, etc. In earlier days this water could be absorbed more readily. Now is the time to take into account reasons for trapping this “run-off” into the sea.
    Another Desalination plant is not the answer.


  11. Barbados Aboveground October 8, 2015 at 12:35 AM #

    We are a water scarce country and our attitudes 2wards water usage/consumption must change. We cannot expect government to solve every single problem (and then turn around and complain about excessive taxation).

    B.A. reluctantly agrees with some of Smaugs’, sorry, St. George’s Dragon opinions – low flush, storage tanks – but to make these things mandatory, well, we ent so sure. We gettin tax credits/rebate, boss?

    These water devices aren’t free, yes? So making it mandatory (as in, the law) means people got to buy dem and ting. Which means some company gonna make money bringing them in and selling them. Besides, we thought that all new buildings (residential, unsure about commercial) had to have water tanks of some form or the other before approval was given for construction. Is this not the law already?

    We think education should be the first step. To that end, we propose that the BWA increase their existing educational efforts and impress upon Bajans how water scarce we are, efficient use of water and, communicate the short/long term implicay-shuns of water mis-management.

    We out (yo).


  12. Nostradamus October 8, 2015 at 12:00 PM #

    @Barbados Aboveground

    Your opening blog post says “Now we’re going full-time. We have questions and we’d like answers.” Good thing you are going “full-time” because you haven’t posted anything on your blog since October 02, 2015, 6 days ago. Writers block? Run out of questions? Or gone back to “commenting here and there”? Suggested questions. How will the water required by the Cahill WTE affect the Barbados water supply? How much water will the plant be using each day? In the Jacob Securities Information document, why is Cahill requesting that they be able to extract water without any charge or tax? What percentage of BWA water is currently lost in distribution/transmission compared to previous years?


  13. David October 8, 2015 at 12:04 PM #


    Hutchinson from Stantec indicated the project manager is still to determine how water required will be sourced. He mentioned there is the possibility of sourcing sea water! Not sure if water IF scenarios are factored into Cahill/Barbados cost estimates.



  14. de Ingrunt Word October 8, 2015 at 12:41 PM #

    @David & Caswell; Tangetical to this debate on how effective or ineffective the BWA has been and the larger picture of the gov’t misuse and ‘muzzling’ of civil servants with long term acting appointment I thought this reference below should evoke a hearty laughter.

    This is how the big boys play the game of manipulating the civil service. We can still teach them a ting or two though. LOLLL.

    “The Obama administration has no plans to name a permanent director for the agency [ATF], and career agent Thomas Brandon has been serving as the acting chief since April. But by law, he can’t hold that interim title for longer than 120 days, and that clock runs out on Oct. 27….”

    So, “…[it was] confirmed to POLITICO that he has agreed to stay on while re-assuming his previous title of deputy director – but still serving as the agency’s highest-ranking official.”

    In effect the Acting Dir will be ‘demoted’ back to his substantive post but still continue to act in the higher post.

    Now that is proper conniption!


  15. Barbados Aboveground October 8, 2015 at 2:45 PM #


    Boy, yuh ain’t easy at all! ‘Tis true our last post is now a few days old. But we’re choosing our topics carefully. Dat sed, u raise some excellent questions!

    Not sure about the CAHILL impact on our supply, but your last question, there is sum data ’bout dere: On the BWA website, NRW Non-Revenue Water – covering unbilled and leaks, et cetera – is double what the international benchmark is.


  16. Nostradamus October 8, 2015 at 3:28 PM #


    Yes when asked Clare Cowan passed the question on to Stantec. On page 46 of the Jacob Securities Information document under Operational Cost / Viable Cost it gives quantities of various raw materials/inputs like King Grass, Metallurgical coke etc. Also included is water usage of 345 Sqm per day. Must be a typo and that should be M3 (Cubic Metre). So they did put some estimate in their cost calculations. But is that volume correct?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. bookworm October 9, 2015 at 7:35 AM #

    345 cu mtrs = 345,000 litres= 75889 Imp. Gallons per day!

    So they solve the waste issues and exacerbate the water issues. Good thinking!


  18. Willie's October 9, 2015 at 11:42 AM #

    or approximate 286 tons of water a day. In simple terms that plant will need as much water as the green Fort George water tank, each and every single day, 7 days a week including Sundays. LoL.


  19. Colonel Buggy October 9, 2015 at 11:34 PM #

    With the proposed introduction of community water tanks, aka Super Stand Pipes, we could go full circle within our 50 years of independence, by reintroducing communal Toilets and Baths, fed from the same community water tanks, to serve those residents who have been deprived of ”running water to their homes, ” almost daily.


  20. Colonel Buggy October 9, 2015 at 11:51 PM #

    Paradox October 7, 2015 at 9:24 PM #

    Sir, the foolish people who used to run the plantations all over the island had a network of “dry wells’ all over each plantation’s lands, which in effect would direct the run off rain water to the sources underground. Most of these wells have fallen into disuse over the years,and in the cases where houses were built on old plantation lands,instead of making use of those wells found on the site,to reduce local flooding, they were filled in to allow a couple more square feet of building land. In addition to the Dry Wells there was also a network of spring water wells, those with the fan mills, which provided much water, before and long after the Water Works was established. Like the Dry Wells,these water wells have mostly been abandoned. During the reign of Tom Adams ,he had promised to launch a programme to refurbish many of these Water Wells, with a view of linking them into the national water system. That idea died with him.


  21. Willie's October 10, 2015 at 11:00 AM #

    Colonel Buggy

    Low reservoirs and the attendant water outages is not a Barbados problem. It is affect almost each island in the Caribbean. Recently I was in England and the was pressure very, very low for a week where I was staying and then it went off for a full day and a half. What is the problem or issue with BWA having potable water tanks which can be easily and quickly deployed in to affected community at least ensure people have access to emergency drinking water?

    Take the politics out of this and I think people accept its a good short term or emergency mitigation tool.


  22. Colonel Buggy October 10, 2015 at 10:55 PM #

    Are we still on track for promotion from turd World to First World status in the new decade? Are we still striving to be a mirror image of Singapore?


  23. Colonel Buggy October 11, 2015 at 10:40 PM #

    There is some correlation in the way successive governments have treated the economy of this country and its Water Reserves. When the economy was booming, we, as the old people used to say, “Bought Ice and fried it.” Like the $50 Million + white elephant in Greenland to name one. Never making allowances for that rainy day, and eventually allowing our monies to drain into Trinidad and other places .
    And with our water system, we have never thought of making any allowances for those long sunny days, which we are now experiencing ,by trapping and dam-ing the ample deluge of rainwater we so frequently get, preferring to allow it to drain into the ocean.
    Then we come along with a knee jerk , reaction and some are saying leave politics out of it.
    Praising the minister for the installation of community tanks, is like asking for a medal for a motorist who knocked down a pedestrian at a pedestrian crossing, and then proceeded to give him the kiss of life,thus saving his life.


  24. David October 13, 2015 at 2:12 PM #

    Here is a tank installed by the BWA in St. Joseph as promised.


  25. Marlon Forde October 13, 2015 at 4:09 PM #

    They look pretty impressive. Whats the size, about a 1000 gallons? The BWA and Minister ought to congratulated for action.


  26. Bush Tea October 13, 2015 at 4:27 PM #

    You serious?
    In 2015…???
    This is barely believable.

    You know of course that house toilets do NOT flush when the water is off….
    Will they be bringing portable outhouses too…?


  27. David October 13, 2015 at 4:29 PM #

    It is as impressive as when the prison was allowed to implode under Mia’s watch and then she was complimented for handing the post Glendairy period.


  28. Prodigal Son October 13, 2015 at 4:30 PM #

    Yea, yea, yea, let’s congratulate the BWA…….the installation of this tank will ease the plight of our fellow Barbadians and for that we are happy, very happy.

    Hope we do not hear “Wesley” complaining…..”we gine back, Mr Ellis, we gine back”……….this was his response on Brasstacks when OSA said that we would need to go back to growing our own food.

    Now I think it is time to look at the feasibility of building a desalination plant to service that side of the country since we are not getting the rainfall to fill up the reservoirs. It certainly would make more sense than to borrow $500,000 to construct a sugar factory when for all intents and purposes king sugar is not doing so well.

    We need thinkers…….certainly they can try to get some of the development money that the UK is offering to developmental purposes in the Caribbean.

    This will be a good case to make for some of the money…………….hey, are people not saying that this is hush money for slavery? Reparation?


  29. David October 13, 2015 at 4:34 PM #

    What about the gallons of runoff water that runs into the sea from the natural water courses. How can we make this work. How about aggressively replacing the old water mains given the 40 to 59% leakage?


  30. Gabriel October 13, 2015 at 4:42 PM #

    The 21st century version of the standpipe.Correction stand triple-pipe.Dah Ghanian fella carryin we back to Africa ennit.DD Garner mussee smiling from pun hi entit.


  31. Prodigal Son October 13, 2015 at 4:44 PM #


    Another good idea……….see we are offering solutions to the problem! Another case to be put for some of Cameron’s money!


  32. Marlon Forde October 13, 2015 at 4:52 PM #

    I think this shows the old saying, you can please Bajans. They are a miserable lot, they are famous for two things: complaining and not doing a lot about it.
    The BWA is suppose to make the rain fall?
    A modern deal plant of a commercial/utility capacity is probably US$50M and a surface water catchment and damn project could be as much as US$75M.
    Community tanks are NOT a solution, only one of myriad of mitigation tools to help alleviate the full impact/inconvenience of the water outages.


  33. David October 13, 2015 at 4:56 PM #

    Why does this have to do with pleasing Bajans? We suffered a 60% increase in water rates with a promise in 2009 it was meant to improve water management in Barbados. Just imagine if the BWA had to manage water distribution in hill St. Lucia or Dominica.


  34. Colonel Buggy October 13, 2015 at 5:37 PM #

    Bush Tea October 13, 2015 at 4:27 PM #

    You know of course that house toilets do NOT flush when the water is off….
    Will they be bringing portable outhouses too…?
    Did the man not infer that Bajans should keep their mouts shut as they have “running water” and “electrified homes”? Last night , there was a major power cut in parts of the island,and with that went LIME’s / /FLOW’s / C&W’s service. So without Water ,Electricity and Telephone we are being conditioned to become a humble,cap-in-hand people.


  35. David October 13, 2015 at 5:41 PM #

    What caused the power outage last night?


  36. Colonel Buggy October 13, 2015 at 5:43 PM #

    Bush Tea October 13, 2015 at 4:27 PM #

    Will they be bringing portable outhouses too…?
    We already have ,in Bajan vernacular, a good many operating out of Palmetto and Bay Streets.


  37. David October 13, 2015 at 5:45 PM #

    Understand the tank is located at Horse Hill.


  38. Colonel Buggy October 13, 2015 at 5:47 PM #

    At the end of this parochial tank farm project, it would be interesting to learn, how much it has cost the taxpayers , for the supply,installation and maintenance (sorry forget maintenance) of these tanks.


  39. Colonel Buggy October 13, 2015 at 5:48 PM #

    Heard that there is also one in Sugar Hill.


  40. Srius October 13, 2015 at 9:47 PM #

    This must be an insult to all Barbadians. In year 2015 of Our Lord, this is a regressive step by the Govt of Barbados.
    I am actually appalled. I can see this leading to political fodder in elections, The BLP provided a Desalination plant, The DLP provided a Water tank.


  41. Srius October 13, 2015 at 9:50 PM #

    Wouldn’t a better idea as a temporary measure be scheduled water trucks visiting the various communities. We have paid an increase in water rates. This is totally unacceptable. This Govt “mekking mock sport at we”.


  42. Colonel Buggy October 13, 2015 at 11:24 PM #

    After the last deluge of rain, had you noticed the African snails, which supposedly the ministry of agriculture had on the run,came out in their millions, and have a fetish for things plastic, like dust bins etc. What measures will be taken to prevent these snails and other pests from invading these water tanks. And do not tell be that these tanks are secure, I ‘ve just bought one.


  43. Colonel Buggy October 13, 2015 at 11:38 PM #

    Srius October 13, 2015 at 9:50 PM #
    Basic Logistics. The distribution of water will be better served from a mobile unit than a static one. There are the less fortunate people in the community who are unable to travel to these “strategically” placed tanks, furthermore to carry a sizable container, anyhow. I hope that we are not conceiving a Dog -eat-Dog society here, where only the fittest will survive.


  44. Jolly Howell October 14, 2015 at 4:44 AM #

    You retard, how are the african snails going to get inside the tank?
    The guy in Sugar Hill looked very pleased to be able to get a little water.


  45. Bush Tea October 14, 2015 at 6:56 AM #

    “The guy in Sugar Hill looked very pleased to be able to get a little water”
    …probably Dompey…. 🙂

    …how has the mighty fallen…and this from a BWA that only JUST moved into a state-of-the-art headquarters – presumably fully equipped with the technology to monitor these ‘community storage tanks’….

    LOL …wonder if they have one of those ‘remote data acquisition thingies’ like the power company too..? so they will know when the tanks empty….


  46. Donna October 14, 2015 at 8:33 AM #

    “It is one step forward and two steps backward and tremble, hold belly and tremble.” Serenader could bring that one again.


  47. ac October 14, 2015 at 9:23 AM #

    It would have been nice “if”after fourteen years of financial stability some of that money was well spent in the maintenance and upkeep of Barbados infrastructure by the pastBLP govt.
    Instead of the present govt having limited financial resources and time now having to deal with a continuation of past woes and weakness left festering by OSA and his gang of merry men


  48. Colonel Buggy October 14, 2015 at 4:50 PM #

    Jolly Howell October 14, 2015 at 4:44 AM #

    You retard, how are the african snails going to get inside the tank?
    The guy in Sugar Hill looked very pleased to be able to get a little water.
    Ya got that right skippa, I and the rest of Barbados have been retarded to the year 1960. Oh ,and by the way, I bought a new water tank a two weeks ago. I am considered in the UK to be an Engineer.


  49. Colonel Buggy October 14, 2015 at 4:55 PM #

    David October 13, 2015 at 5:41 PM #

    What caused the power outage last night?
    Unlike the old Barbados Light and Power Company , no announcement , or apology was made to the affected customers.
    Perhaps this is what we can expect from here on in. Frequent power outages,and a Like it or Lump it attitude.


  50. Colonel Buggy October 14, 2015 at 5:17 PM #

    Let hope that the areas around these community water tanks are better maintain than those surrounding some of the permanent reservoirs.


  51. David October 14, 2015 at 5:20 PM #

    In the past we would have had Stephen Worme assuring Barbadians. How things have changed.


  52. David October 14, 2015 at 5:23 PM #

    Let us hope the plan to use alternative energy sources to run the reservoirs come on stream soon AND there is security to protect the equipment. Yesterday we read about the wind turbine project at a MPW Depot allowed to rot.


  53. Colonel Buggy October 14, 2015 at 10:14 PM #

    David, Have you seen the outcome of the alternative energy source which was put in place to power the MTW’s Chance Hall Depot in St Lucy? Well its lying on the ground rusted out from a lack of maintenance, which came as no surprise to anyone.
    We ain’t ready yet.


  54. David October 14, 2015 at 10:18 PM #

    What confidence are we to have in the government executing its renewable energy program? By this time the BWA, air and sea ports should have been retrofitted with renewable energy. The benefit two fold, cost savings and the sending of a strong message to the public this is the direction to go.



  55. David October 15, 2015 at 11:08 AM #

    Why is Miss Watson finding excuses for the result of poor management of water resources in Barbados through the years? Someone should give her a tour of our reservoirs.


  56. Vincent Haynes October 15, 2015 at 12:24 PM #


    Why is it that no one remembers that it takes approx 3 years before surface water percolates to the aquafiers……..what was the rainfall 3 years ago?

    The Aquafiers are helped by the thousands of wells,mainly plantation ones……when last were they cleaned……it use to happen every year before the rainy season.

    I believe another area of concern is the 100 year old pipes and if we have an effective replacement programme.


  57. David October 15, 2015 at 12:39 PM #


    Three years or three months.




  58. Vincent Haynes October 15, 2015 at 2:44 PM #

    David October 15, 2015 at 12:39 PM #


    Three years or three months.


    At least 3 years especially if you have clean wells,some say 5 years and longer depending on the depth of the limestone formation.

    Once the wells are identified again and cleaned,all the water running to the sea can be chanelled to them…….no need for reservoirs once the wells are again able to take the run offs.


  59. David October 15, 2015 at 3:59 PM #

    Thanks Vincent, interesting, have not heard the argument made in a coherent way up to now.


  60. David October 15, 2015 at 7:10 PM #

    Is there any truth to the harmful effect of radiation emitted from smart meters?


  61. Vincent Haynes October 15, 2015 at 7:21 PM #

    @David October 15, 2015 at 7:10 PM #

    The longevity of the meters should also be of concern and are these not the meters that are having problems with maintaining readings when no water is passing through them?


  62. David October 15, 2015 at 7:32 PM #


    We have been hearing many complaints about how the smart meters are operating. The BWA says there is no problem, How do consumers test it to support their position. One hopes these smart meters have been tested and there is solid consumer feedback.


  63. Willie's October 20, 2015 at 11:15 AM #

    Barbados Labour Party Senator Sandra Husbands has condemned as a backward move a decision to install water tanks in parishes across the island in response to the current water shortage.

    Contending that the response to a near-drought situation now hitting the island could have been better if Government had not used up resources on what she reported is “a very glossy, beautiful” $150 million new headquarters building, she charged that Barbadians were being taken to a time long past.

    Opposition Senator Sandra Husbands.
    Opposition Senator
    Sandra Husbands.

    “Are you thinking that Barbadians are back to the stage where three buckets of water are all they will need to use in any given day in order to take care of flushing a toilet, taking a bath, washing dishes, cooking food, watering plants?” she asked on Sunday evening during a St James South constituency meeting at the West Terrace Primary School.

    “It is ridiculous that Barbadians now have to go back out with buckets to catch water. This cannot be serious planning on behalf of Barbadians!”

    In response to the Government’s decision to place some 800 tanks, on an average of 20 per parish, in areas affected by shortages, she asked:“Do you have the tankers to run and fill them in a hurry?

    This idiot is hoping to be a Parliamentarian in Barbados cannot ever work our that 20 tanks per Parish cannot equate to 800 tanksin total. We really have to stop allowing these types of idiots to believe they have a place in Parliament in Barbados.


  64. Bowtie Man Stand January 6, 2017 at 12:19 PM #

    Wait, wait……………WAIT na man? Marville and Lindo get pass over for senior positions at BWA? Marville is 66 years old and Lindo is 67 years old and them them want to go to the BWU claiming to have been disadvantaged? THAT IS A FUNNY SICK JOKE OR WHAT?

    The two youngsters promoted to the senior positions at BWA are all under 45 years old and are good management prospects for the future.




  65. David January 6, 2017 at 7:03 PM #

    We need to hear about all the changes before we can intelligently critique what they are doing on the hill.


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