Water Woes Trending

Submitted by Anthony Davis
David Estwick, Minister of Water Resources

David Estwick, Minister of Water Resources

THE GOVERNMENT OF BARBADOS is fully aware of the water woes and is focussing on solutions. So says Minister of Industry Donville Inniss, who assured Barbadians that help was on the way, but warned against ‘dangerous thoughts’ of causing social unrest over the current  water woes. SATURDAY SUN dated January 2, 2016

Pray tell me, Mr. Inniss, are we still living in Barbados, or in North Korea, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, etc.?

As far as I can recall Barbados is still a democratic country with the right to protest being enshrined in our Constitution. So what codswallop are you spewing just because some people are saying that those who have been living without water for a considerable time want to “loot and riot, or otherwise create panic” if they protest?

What is your agenda, Mr. Minister?

There was protest action in St. Joseph today, 02 January, 2016.  Was there “looting” or “rioting”, or did anyone create panic, Mr. Minister? The last time there was rioting in this country was 1937 – almost eight decades ago. As for the rigmarole of the populace using 95% of the water in the system, I call that nothing but a reason for hiking water rates again.

May I ask from where have you taken your facts?

In “Barbados – experience the Caribbean” published in 2007 there were 14 guest houses and 78 hotels listed. These include the whole gamut of hotels and guest houses. If we fast forward to 2015, some of the hotels would have ceased operation due to the so-called economic situation, but bigger so-called luxury hotels came on stream. Add to these hotels mentioned, the number of condominiums which have been allowed to be built, although they don’t hire many people and the much needed foreign exchange goes out of the island in most cases, and we get an idea of how much water the tourism industry uses.

How many millions of gallons of water would a hotel which has three golf courses, and a tennis court use per year, Mr. Minister, taking into into account also the number of rooms it has, the number of swimming pools it has, the number of bars it has, the number of restaurants it has, the number of Jacuzzis, etc. it has?

There are many hotels which have two or three swimming pools, the same number of bars, and the same number of restaurants – which, I suppose, need water morning, noon and night.

How about the number of rooms and the number of showers each hotel has?

Can one tell a tourist how long to stay under the shower, and how often he/she should take a shower?

Some will go swimming in the morning and take a shower after, and repeat this in the afternoon and the evening. They have paid for that up front, so not all of them will think of water conservation.

How much water do the gardeners use?

How much water does the private sector use?

How much water does Government use?

Minister Kellman is the first person who came up with such a ludicrous suggestion.

I didn’t go to UWI, but commonsense tells me that that could never be true – not for the numerous hotels, guest houses, condominiums etc. there are in Barbados.

Also, one must factor in the amount of water planes and ships take on when they visit Barbados – especially cruise ships which carry 3000 passengers and 1000 crew. Some hotels even have golf courses and tennis courts which must be watered. We must include stand-alone restaurants and bars, and Oistins Beer Gardens and St. Lawrence Gap – the place one says never sleeps.

You do the Math, and come and tell us the same cock and bull story after, and maybe, just maybe we will believe you!

Then again we won’t, because a cock and bull story remains just that, and we are not as dumb as you seem to think!

When I think of the amount of water wastage in the hotel industry, I would say that you mean that they are the ones which use the 95% of water.

Tourists even generate more waste than the populace of this country.

According to the Burnside Mangrove Pond Green Energy Complex & Beautification Programme Environmental Impact Assessment Outline review:

Waste generation is closely linked to population, though for Barbados tourism contributes a disproportionate amount of waste.A rule-of-thumb is that each tourist generates roughly three times the waste of a local person in the same period of time.

I assume that you have seen that EIA, seeing that you voted unanimously for the Cahill Energy project!

How much of our scarce water will Cahill Energy be using for free, only to pollute our country with its toxic fumes which it will be spewing out of its stack?

How much water will the solar plant to be built by the Del Mastro cousins use, Mr. Minister?

You say that that they are not excuses, but I see them as nothing else but!

Digging for facts is better mental exercise than jumping to conclusions“, Mr. Minister!


  • PRESS STATEMENT re: Response by Minister of Water Resources Management, Hon. Dr. David Estwick

    Hon. Mia Amor Mottley Q.C., M.P. Leader of the Opposition

    We thank Minister Estwick for addressing the people of Barbados on the medium and long term plans being undertaken by his Ministry and the Barbados Water Authority.

    It is unfortunate that the Minister has confused representation with partisan politics. However, I will leave that ball outside of the off stump. There is nothing to be gained by the two political parties fighting in Bridgetown while people cannot get water in the Scotland District.

    That is why I have not addressed this issue in partisan fora.

    That is why I have not gone on the road to call a March as others have been agitating, and indeed has been done by the former DLP candidate for St. Joseph.

    That is why I have not dwelt on accusing this Government of misplaced priorities or failing in the last 8 years to act with despatch as they increased rates by 60% or in completing the Northern Upgrade Project or in carrying the production at IONICs to maximum capacity while still paying for it.

    Instead, we thank Minister Estwick for having the BWA urgently publish the request for expressions of interest to build the two desalination plants in the north and for having the Infrastructure Committee of Cabinet settle, just yesterday, a national water policy which we look forward to reading. We do have some questions, for example, as to whether the temporary solutions of the packaged desalination plants can in any way be converted into a permanent solution. But these can be addressed in the next few weeks.

    What is important is that the immediate needs of the people be met.

    There is one area that we did not hear the Minister address before VOB stopped broadcasting. This is the short term measures. This is more so given the discussions of the possibility of an immediate prolonged drought. In the letter I wrote to the Minister on behalf of the affected residents, I indicated that there was basically consensus on the long term solutions. However, there was urgent need as well to address the short term solutions, for the daily challenges of people are heart wrenching. The Barbadians affected need to know that people care

    In the interim the infirm, aged or disabled have no assistance to lift containers of water to their houses. They need help and the BWA should help organize the assistance by having someone also on the truck to help.

    The 5 tankers that we have in Barbados are insufficient to service the distressed areas. The immediate connection of all community tanks to the existing mains so they may be filled whenever there is water will allow the 5 tankers to be more effectively deployed and to focus on those who are not near the community tanks or, for whatever reason, cannot reach the community tanks.

    Equally, the water tankers should be deployed on a 24 hour basis especially to service commercial establishments.

    There are also concerns related to fair and equitable access of water from the community tanks. We may want to consider appropriate supervision of the community tanks by the Department of Emergency Management and members of the community to address this issue.

    The broadcasting and Publication in newspapers and on social media of the daily routes for distribution of water in all affected communities cannot be beyond us in a twenty first century Barbados. This will go a long way in allowing people to plan out their affairs.

    A strong Public Education programme is needed for conservation of water and to educate people as to the need to boil all water being stored in households before usage for drinking or cooking.

    The Government needs to urgently facilitate the purchase of water tanks and pumps for the most affected communities through a combination of grants, low interest loans and tax incentives. This approach is necessary given the lack of disposable funds of most households and businesses after years of economic decline.

    And finally it cannot be business as usual for the BWA. The time taken by the BWA to commission mains when they have been replaced has to be significantly reduced. Further, where possible, a 24 hour workday ought to be introduced in the deployment of tankers and the repair and replacement of critical mains.

    We are happy that refund of payments will be considered for residents who have been paying their water bills but have been proven to be victims of chronic water outages. This is only but fair.

    If our walking in the Scotland District caused Minister Estwick to talk, we are glad we walked. If our community meetings have led to this action, we are glad that we held these meetings. If there will finally be action on the Reverse Osmosis plant and the new Zonal Policy after these expressions of interest were published in 2007, we are glad.

    We look forward to these outstanding issues being addressed urgently.

    We remain focused on the improvements that can come about in the short term to ease the plight of tens of thousands of Barbadians.

    We remain committed to playing our part in assisting however we may to facilitate urgent execution and deployment of resources to remedy this national crisis.

    13th January, 2015


  • well if he sounded like ac he told the truth whether one agrees or not


  • Well Well & Consequences2I

    Why waste time assigning blame, they are all getting a monthly salary from the taxpayers….just do the f-ing job, who gives a shit about who did what, both are to blame for not paying attention and doing nothing re the water source deterioration, both DBLP are to blame for putting themselves and their nasty little scams first, putting themselves and their friends before the people.

    Just get the people water. Those who they put before their own people are now laughing at DBLPs incompetence.

    Liked by 1 person

  • as For Mia Mottley she has become a classless tasteless meandering buffoon giving enough reason /s for any or all of her ministers to hold their noses and distance themselves far away from her. Her antics defined by political grandstanding is one of the many reason barbadians will; not vote for her to become PM , She makes no bones or hides the fact her mission is directed by selfishness and insipid calculating directives to gain political mileage and give her a political advantage as she tries to win the coveted prize as the prime minister of barbados


  • How can Mia in good faith stand up and criticize any actions from this govt in reference to the water issue ,.I am totally convince that she has no shame her lack of moral character is dissipated or he is in the early stages of Alzheimer .Whatever the reason she has defined her role well enough to be a yardfowl of a different political breed ,


  • i dare any blp foot soldier! paling cock ! or yardfowl to categorically deny that the BLP failed the people of St.joseph and other water restricted areas during their fourteen years m There is enough evidence to show proof / The masquerading of political finger pointing by Mia cannot remove the facts stated in many auditor general reports one of having a record facilitated by the poor management of the BWA .Mia need to reread the history of her past govt ineptness before putting her mouth in gear and “using” the poor people for her own political advantage


  • @ AC
    i dare any blp foot soldier! paling cock ! or yardfowl to categorically deny that the BLP failed the people of St.joseph and other water restricted areas during their fourteen years
    You unmitigated jackass…
    Everyone KNOWS of the BLP’s failings during their 14 years in office.

    If you want something constructive to do, you should try to focus your cabinet bowls on GETTING SOME MEANINGFUL things done…..besides taxes, loans and fetes…

    AFTER accomplishing a few positives, wunna would sound a lot more palatable comparing wunna brass bowlery with that of the BLP.
    Right now it is like two jackasses braying at each other….


  • After EIGHT MONTHS of personal, financial and other losses due to CHRONIC WATER OUTAGES across Barbados, rather than displaying emotions of SYMPATHY and EMPATHY for the residents of the affected areas, then APOLOGIZING for all inconveniences caused by persistent water outages, after which he should have outlined policy proposals or initiatives developed by the BWA, thereby reassuring them their plight is priority and is being addressed, the Minister responsible for water resources and the BWA, Dr. David Estwick, RESPONDED AGGRESSIVELY by political grandstanding and making a POLITICAL CAMPAIGN SPEECH, under the GUISE of a press conference.

    Obviously, the DLP yard-fowls would describe yesterday’s public relations exercise as a victory for the DLP, since (and as usual) the DEMS responded by blaming the previous BLP administration for the water outages, with Estwick citing the problem existed for a number of years and after numerous studies about water usage the BEES did not do anything to address the issue.

    Any reasonable individual logically reviewing the situation, would interpret Estwick’s comments relative to the problem existing for a number of years, to mean the problem existed under BLP and DLP administrations, both of whom failed to address the issue.

    Additionally, ALMOST one year of residents using the print and electronic media, as well as forums such as BU and Brass Tacks, to highlight the water outages; the numerous notices informing parents that schools in the affected areas would not be opened or they should collect their children because of water outages was NOT ENOUGH to PROVOKE Estwick to respond.
    He waited until the Opposition intervened in the matter to come out with his “mouth and guns blazing” to make a political statement, while accusing them of turning the issue into a “political football.”

    Both BLP and DLP are making political responses to this issue. The BLP has been exploiting the issue for political mileage, but that’s their job. Estwick exploited the issue for political mileage as well, especially since he DID NOT RESPOND to residents almost one year ago. After 8 years in office this administration had enough time to address the issue and must accept responsibility.

    Unfortunately, the PLIGHT of the residents of St. Joseph, St. Andrew and St. Thomas will be LOST under the political rhetoric, grandstanding and blame game.

    Liked by 2 people

  • @Artaxerxes, I share your sentiments completely.


  • Here is a fact, we have 100 year old mains. It means the problem of water distribution straddled both political parties.


  • Well Well & Consequences2I

    Both parties knew the mains had not been replaced in over a hundred years, the same studies commissioned in the 1970s would have told them that, pointed it out in highlights, each was waiting for the other party to do it while drawing down their salaries each and every month….they are both wicked.

    No decent person or political party would deliberately and maliciously do something like that to impact the very voters they need to give them the status they lust and crave. None of them cared, the yardfowls are trained to assign blame and point fingers…jokers.


  • WW&C2

    Its easy to take pot shots at the political parties, especially re. such events as our water woes. But perhaps one should consider that an important part of politics and development is the art of balancing scarce resources, especially in countries such as ours.

    Our politicians in power appear to pay strong consideration to a number of factors in their allocations of scarce resources. These include:-

    How will these allocations affect their personal chances of getting back into power.

    How will these allocations affect their party’s chances of getting back into power.

    How will the priority given to any major allocation – as reflected in monies allocated – affect the perception of the majority of their constituents’ views on their suitability to retain power.

    How much negative publicity will a particular action or inaction generate; i.e the effectiveness of the squeaky wheel syndrome.

    How much will the allocations (or policy) provide tangible benefit their constituents that might not be easily translatable into votes for the incumbents.

    For some, in considering various alternatives, the question of how much is in it for them personally appears to be becoming a most influential factor and can outweigh other considerations.

    Manifesto promises are not normally significantly influential in such choices and are usually treated as afterthoughts, in the year or so prior to an election.

    I fear that allocations that can be considered as misallocations when using objective criteria, will continue to be with us until a new utopian system can be structured to ensure the removal of personal concerns from the factors governing the allocation of scarce resources in Barbados. I think that a third party might assist in us getting there but that the system has to be drastically changed to a more transparent one to ameliorate the problem.


  • Well Well & Consequences2I

    Are we there…..in other words DBLP think only of self, party, number of political yardfowlS = selfish and that is why they have reached a cul-de-sac. The needs of the majority ….water….was never taken into consideration, never factored into their self involvement. …..so, they will get no sympathy from me, since they have no sympathy for the people who elect them unless they can reduce them to yardfowls….after many years of doing the same things and seeing it no longer works to the benefit of the masses…..intelligent politicians would have over the last decade made the appropriate, significant changes.

    Third parties tend not to have a great track record, don know if it’s the wrong people presenting themselves, but no one in their right minds would choose PEP.


  • @are-we-there-yet January 14, 2016 at 11:52 AM #

    Interesting points made in the above post.

    My question to you is why would a third party make a difference?

    The pool from which we draw our leaders,be they for the private/public sector,clergy,ngos,politicians,etc,etc is the same,as they attended similar educational facilities and have been socialised by the same 14 by 21 environment.

    The mindset of the country has to change and we will get worse before that happens.


  • Vincent Haynes wrote”The mindset of the country has to change ”

    It changed this week. Tourist get rob. Robber caught,tried and jailed Wednesday.

    The judicial system is “changing”.


  • @Hants January 14, 2016 at 1:31 PM #

    I hope so…….one swallow does not a summer make.

    I look forward to my buddies 22 year old case being resolved,as well as the many others.


  • Well Well & Consequences2I

    Hants…they only got one judge so far, Justice Beckles, they are still to install 2 other judges, remember DBLP have not yet seen it fit to amend the laws that would see more than 8 judges sitting on the bench at once….since water was not a priority for them, well, you know what I mean.

    Vincent….neither you nor your friend should hold your breaths…22 years, there are cases there from 1964, everyone is long dead including the judges..lol


  • Signs and wonders. Hurricane in January. Water woes may get solved soon.



  • David January 14, 2016 at 9:06 AM #

    Here is a fact, we have 100 year old mains. It means the problem of water distribution straddled both political parties.

    Here is another fact, …. or rather as I understand how it was related to me.

    Some of the mains were laid in the 1860’s when water was piped to Bridgetown.

    They are in pretty good shape!!!!!

    They just don’t make them like they used to!!

    Do the math, 150 plus and counting!!

    One of the problems with the mains is that there was (maybe still is) a period when whoever got the agency to supply pipe to the BWA supplied sub standard pipe and made a killing!!

    Hint hint, wink wink!!


  • Well Well & Consequences2I

    And it could have been none other than DBLP politicians, some of whom are long dead themselves….it’s all about temporary greed and gratification.


  • It’s clear that Estwick has “pissed off”the average Bajan with his loutish manner and showed his obvious ignorance of the extent to which Bajans in eastern and northern parishes are suffering.Hear the JA braying”For the first time in the history of Barbados,the Water Authority will have 14 water trucks to serve Barbados”.The joker didn’t recognize the stupidity of this statement.It says it all,that we have regressed to pre 20th century Barbados thanks to the likes of Estwick,Mwannza,Brathwaite the octogenarian and the silent one Stuart.


  • @Gabriel

    Actually what was more stupid was the long-winded explanation why the BWA does not support its employees charging citizens for water.



  • Wait a minute! I went to the same schools. As a matter of fact I went at the same time as many of them. That is NOT what we were taught at school. I came out of the same pool. But I could never behave as they do. I have friends who are not like that. It is a CHOICE that the politicians made to be that way. Don’t tell me that they know no better or can do no better! NO EXCUSES!


  • The Doc has another Johnny to look out for that will give him trouble. Johnny Ma Boy.


  • Well Well & Consequences

    Donna….that’s the extent of the problem, politicians made a choice to be that way, how could you need the majority on the island so you can elevate yourself to a certain status and when you have achieved that goal, start acting as though it’s only a few got you there, so you will now only look out for 5% of the population, while totally ignoring that it’s 100% of the taxpayers, the same majority, who pay your salary, it’s elementary and simple commonsense.

    Maybe that is why DBLP can’t see it….idiots.


  • Bush Tea January 14, 2016 at 8:03 AM #



    Professor Brass Bowl who are the WE,, you never even bothered to vote the last election and now talking about “WE” you just like Mottley one big clump of brass bowlery talking shite about “we” fuh sure does not include you but for the Record WE had to response to that sleazy propaganda machine that the Blp machinery lead by Mia tried kicking up and down the street
    Heard Mia today sounding off about what the govt ought to do, fourteen years after the fact and when she is no longer office What a goof ball fuh real


  • Donna@4.42p
    Lovely spot ‘o humour in your observation.


  • The Watcher January 13, 2016 at 5:45 PM #


    “………. The disparity in this country that still allows specific social and ethnic groups to enjoy the spoils of the “fated” calf which by the way, THEY DID NOT WORK FOR OR EARN, will come to an end and sooner than we think.
    I do not believe that the BWA in its infinite wisdom thought this sort of backlash would ensue when they conjured up this stupid plan to disadvantage poorer folks to their own enrichment.
    The world and by extension, Barbados is changing.

    Take heed!”

    I have argued over a long period that irrespective of which party governs Barbados the results remain the same: they are, profoundly, anti-negro. And have a particular loathing at those citizens who can be found at the lower end of the social scale.

    I am interested in seeing how this contrived water crisis develops.

    This government has shown her true worth by exposing her hands in her crude attempt to deny access to potable water to her negro masses. There is no way that this government could control those negro masses should they rebel.

    This government will fall if the masses arrives at the conclusion that their government is anti-democratic and colludes with a number of players in order to marginalise and suppress them.

    God help Barbados when her people awakes from their slumber!


  • Gabriel,

    If yuh doan laugh yuh would cry.


  • If the human body is some 65 to 70% water, then from the looks of the Minister , he is fast becoming a real water resource.


  • The Desalination plant, the BWA’s General Manager tells us, will be able to produce a by-product, salt. This should come in handy for rubbing in the wounds of the St Joseph people and others.


  • millertheanunnaki

    @ Colonel Buggy January 16, 2016 at 12:04 PM
    “The Desalination plant, the BWA’s General Manager tells us, will be able to produce a by-product, salt…”

    So why should you believe that quack for a doctor?
    Does the existing Desalination plant produce salt and if so what is done with it? Does Barbados still import salt?

    Is the goodly quack referring to the proposed two desalination plants which presumably will be using real salty sea water? Now what would Barbados do with all that by-product called salt@ Colonel Buggy January 16, 2016 at 12:04 PM
    “The Desalination plant, the BWA’s General Manager tells us, will be able to produce a by-product, salt…”

    So why should you believe that quack for a doctor?
    Does the existing Desalination plant produce salt and if so what is done with it? Does Barbados still import salt?
    Is the goodly quack referring to the proposed two desalination plants which presumably will be using real salty sea water? Now what would Barbados do with all that by-product called salt? Use it to preserve the meat of the millions of monkeys overrunning the abandoned sugarcane fields for export to West Africa as “foreign” bush meat reared in the pristine reserves of Barbados.
    Now that is what one would call Niche Marketing in reverse where the Diaspora of former slaves is exporting to real the mother country.


  • I propose another idea.Let us export sea salt,the preferred alternative and supposed to be safe for human consumption.Isnt it ironic?From exporting sugar to exporting salt,thanks to a native born African!


  • @David, are you listening to the water discussion on Brasstack Sundays?


  • Thanks Alicia for the reminder.


  • The sad fact is that the plutocrats and the technocrats are playing games to our disadvantage,the more we hear of unions not accepting outside agencies doing their work,pipes that could have saved this crisis allowed to lie down for 9 years,spending money on a building in a downturn,recomendations out of studies(some by Mwansa)allowed to lie without implementation,etc,etc,etc…..


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