Water Rationing from March 1, 2016

water-dripThe following comment posted by BU commenter Are-we-there-yet in response to another commenter Crusoe.


Yuh certain dat there is now a prohibition on FILLING tanks in excess of 400 litres (roughly 100 gallons) from the mains?

How are they going to enforce that?

Ensure that every household with a larger capacity tank install some type of system that would shut off when the water level reaches a height equivalent to a volume of 400 litres?

Are such systems available for existing larger capacity tanks or will they rely on the householders to shut off the water manually when it reaches the prescribed level?

If so how will they ensure that householders are obeying the drought restriction regulations? Use the Police? Use the SSA officers? Use Min of Health personnel? Use BWA personnel?

Do they know all of the houses that have tanks with greater capacity than 400 litres?

Will they ask householders with existing larger tanks (most people, as 450 gallon tanks seem to be the most popular ones) to replace them with 100 gallon tanks?

Will the prohibition be all over the Island? Or will those areas in St Thomas, St Andrew, etc. which only get intermittent supply of water from the mains be allowed to pump more than the 400 litres of water while the rest of the island will be subject to the prohibition?

In such areas a more relevant measure might be limiting the amount of water to be supplied by tanker to households with tanks but without water to 400 litres at any one time to ensure that such water is provided to everyone in an even handed manner.

The rationing of water is a good thing and all Barbadians should play their part and one can understand the need to limit the water being held in tanks. But what appears to be being mandated here needs a lot of refinement to be workable and enforceable in the short term but could be developed to be part of a workable long term strategy where all households would be allowed to fill potable water tanks to a limit of x litres per household member. Thus a 2 member household might have a limit of x litres and a 4 member household one of 2x litres.

I wonder if the current strategy has taken into consideration the relatively high water use by washing machines and water toilets as well as showers and if the given 400 litre figure takes these into account?

Something seems awry in what has been reported so far. Perhaps tomorrow’s paper might give some better indication of what is in store for us.

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127 Comments on “Water Rationing from March 1, 2016”

  1. Simple Simon February 28, 2016 at 1:07 PM #

    @LOOK February 28, 2016 at 7:38 AM “nasty filthy Rihanna?”

    Try and wash out ya nasty stinkin’ mout’ do. With blue soap


  2. Colonel Buggy February 28, 2016 at 1:27 PM #

    Barbados is punching above its weight.,after just 50 years of Independence.
    Look at the mighty India after almost 70 years of independence.


  3. lawson February 28, 2016 at 1:49 PM #

    that’s a petrol truck,…. just before the launch of india’s first astronauts


  4. LOOK February 28, 2016 at 2:01 PM #

    @ Simple Simon

    You’re not stupid, far beyond that. The United States does what Barbados does not do “persecute dishonest lawyers, judges, politicians, etc”. These people, lawyers, judges and politicians in Barbados do what they want.


  5. pieter pieper February 28, 2016 at 4:39 PM #

    Housing developments… small individual houses with small lawns but often surrounded by concrete or asphalt-paved surfaces (e.g) Coverley… have the cumulative effect of greater water and energy consumption and wastage. Is it not past time for us to consider hi-rise/multi-storey apartment buildings with the emphasis upon conservation and recycling ? Would hi-rise/multi-storey apartment building developments not also free up much more land, for increased food production, thereby conserving much needed foreign exchange needed for infrastructural development (e.g proper roads, hospitals, schools, etc.)? While our population has not increased significantly, and there have not been droughts of extraordinary lengths and periods, there has been an increase in tourism resulting in increased water and energy usage. It is past time for us to take water and renewable sources…sun, wind, water… of energy seriously! Perhaps,instead of encouraging an over-abundance of persons in the legal profession, we should focus upon producing highly qualified persons and researchers in the aforementioned relevant areas ! Let us not forget the late Oliver Headley of UWI (Cave Hill), an outstanding researcher in solar,wind,water and bagasse generated energy !


  6. LOOK February 28, 2016 at 4:41 PM #


    The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating the Flint, Michigan water crisis, will get to the bottom of it. The FBI also investigated The VECO Company, before, during and after building the Barbados prison in St. Philip. Numerous US Alaska representatives were persecuted.


  7. Retribution-things that make me go hum! February 28, 2016 at 8:22 PM #

    So the ‘little’ poor man should see his ‘little’ hedge and surroundings ruin, while the rich behind their big gates and gated communities get away with watering their big trees? Bare shite!


  8. lawson February 29, 2016 at 12:53 AM #

    was there not a time when the roofs in Barbados were flat caught the rain water and piped into a cistern below ground for uses other than drinking, I can remember we had a rain barrel fed from our ease trough that we used to water our garden with


  9. David February 29, 2016 at 7:56 AM #

    Any thoughts on the AG’s cry that the BLP is to blame for the water woes the country is experiencing? He pointed to the inability of the BLP to resolve the issue with the BWU concerning its workers demanding to lay mains although BWA did not have the equipment.


  10. waterman14 February 29, 2016 at 3:26 PM #

    I agree with the AG’s remarks. The BPL must be held responsible for the current water woes because it’s occurring on their on their watch. Furthermore, John Mwansa and Minister David Estwick must be held directly responsible for the present water situation.


  11. Colonel Buggy February 29, 2016 at 10:35 PM #

    lawson February 29, 2016 at 12:53 AM #
    How ironic that House Hill or Hill House, Blackmans Plantation great house, aka West St Joseph SM school, now Grantley Adams school, had a massive tank built into the basement, catching rain water from the roof. Last year the same Grantley Adams school sent home children every week due to a lack of water.
    Are we marking time, or retreating?


  12. Well Well & Consequences March 1, 2016 at 11:26 AM #

    “The U.S. Embassy to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS informs U.S. citizens that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel notice for St. Vincent and the Grenadines and St. Martin regarding the Zika virus. There is evidence that Zika is linked to birth defects in the fetuses of infected pregnant women and Guillain-Barré syndrome in infected individuals of any age or gender. Zika is typically a mosquito-borne illness, but there are reports that the virus has been transmitted through sexual contact and blood transfusion. For general information about Zika, please visit the CDC website. For information about CDC travel notices, call 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) from within the United States, or 1-404-639-3534 from overseas or visit the CDC website.”

    Update….they claim there is now evidence re link between Zika, Microcephaly affected babies, Guillain-Barre and a new transmission method.


  13. are-we-there-yet March 1, 2016 at 1:35 PM #

    I’ve just seen the BWA Prohibition notice.

    Control of water usage in this period is absolutely necessary and might even have been late in coming. However, I think one of the BU Legal posters should explain the following for the benefit of concerned householders who want to ensure that they are operating within the law:-

    Are backyard farmers exempted? Indeed, are any vegetable or ground provision farmers exempted?

    Can households with UNDERGROUND tanks connected to the BWA mains, fill those tanks above the mandated limit of 800 litres during the period of prohibition?

    How will the BWA monitor if householders with ELEVATED tanks( or DOMESTIC BATHS) are complying or not complying with the prohibitions? Indeed, how could the householders themselves ensure that they are operating within the law since elevated tanks are refilled automatically whenever water is used?

    It would appear that the situation warrants the imposition of prohibitions that ensure a drastic reduction in the use of water by every Bajan but there is a need for clarity in some of them, which BWA must address, but in the interim perhaps a knowledgeable BWA poster could assist us in understanding what the prohibitions are calling for.


  14. are-we-there-yet March 1, 2016 at 1:36 PM #


  15. Exclaimer March 1, 2016 at 5:28 PM #

    Trinidad have introduced water rationing since February 29th!



  16. Due Diligence March 1, 2016 at 5:39 PM #

    Luv the BWA logo at the top of the Notice

    Suggest they adopt the (old) tap at the top of this blog as their new logo


  17. Colonel Buggy March 1, 2016 at 6:09 PM #

    are-we-there-yet March 1, 2016 at 1:35 PM #
    Interesting question . By Underground, I would also interpret that to include a basement.


  18. Colonel Buggy March 1, 2016 at 6:15 PM #

    Also my home is situated next to a high rock bluff with a few large caves. Would it be ok for me to fit a 2000 litre tank in one of those caves,as it cannot then be classified as an ‘above ground tank”.


  19. are-we-there-yet March 1, 2016 at 7:12 PM #

    Colonel Buggy;

    It is even more intriguing than that.

    As I read it, the tanks that are excluded from the prohibition of being filled or supplied are the ones that are ELEVATED and less than 800 litres ( c.200 gals ) in capacity and connected to a BWA supply. That might mean that elevated tanks of more than 800 litres capacity as well as tanks at ground level are prohibited from being filled or supplied with BWA water as well as underground cisterns.

    This might mean that it would be illegal to fill your underground 2000 litre tank (roughly 500 gals) with water from the BWA mains. However, the second paragraph of the order seems to suggest that filling your tank with rain water would NOT run afoul of the law.

    It is not clear to me however, if rain water could be legally used for the purposes outlined in sections (a) and (c) of the first paragraph as the first paragraph could be interpreted as prohibiting the use of water and does not define water nor mention rain water.

    I wonder if a lawyer vetted the prohibition order. In any case that prohibition needs to be carefully explained.


  20. Colonel Buggy March 1, 2016 at 11:10 PM #

    When was Dr Mwansa appointed General Manager of the BWA,according to the Prohibition Notice ?
    Does the BWA’S not control the usage of water pump from privately from owned wells ? Why not from streams diverted into dams,as well?


  21. are-we-there-yet March 2, 2016 at 9:14 AM #

    Colonel Buggy;

    re your 10:10 pm last night.

    Good point. I think that BWA does indeed control the usage of water pumped from privately owned wells but I might be wrong. If it does, that would explain the all inclusiveness of the first paragraph of the prohibition and suggest that ALL water use, including rainwater, is under the prohibition order subject to the exceptions given in the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs.

    This would make it even more important for BWA to urgently clarify exactly what the prohibition order means for each user, large and not-so-large business users; farmers and backyard farmers; householders and john citizen.

    Something like the Trinidad Drought amelioration order that was posted earlier on this blog might be very useful in our case.


  22. are-we-there-yet March 3, 2016 at 12:33 PM #

    I see in today’s Nation that the Chairman of the BWA will be OUTLINING the details on the water restrictions today. Restrictions that went into effect over days ago.

    But, I suppose, better slightly late than never.


  23. LOOK March 4, 2016 at 6:01 AM #


    @ Bush Tea

    Don’t think you and or the Barbados Underground should be peeping in the United States windows and NOT comment about the Flint water problem.


  24. Alvin Cummins March 4, 2016 at 9:42 AM #

    Your queries re monitoring of overhead tanks. A simple ball valve; similar to the one that operates in your toilet tank will solve the automatic shut off problemm The amount of water in the tank can be solved by placing marks on the outside of the tank corresponding to the volume of water in the tank and having the float attached to a cord and even a rock, or some other marker, that moves up and down with the movement of the water, so that you can see at a glance exactly how much water is in the tank.
    I would also humbly propose that government build a series of reservoirs for non potable water, into which NON-POTABLE water from the sewage plants can be (COLOUR CODED)placed, and from which it can redrawn and trucked to assist in irrigation of fields, watering of cricket and recreational fields (cricket and polo etc.) trees, plants, block making (we do use water in making concrete blocks), etc. even the WTE plant. and sundry other uses. Here is an opportunity for another entrepreneur and enterprising person.
    Drinking water (also suitably colour coded; Gas mains, electrical cables, and water pipes are also colour coded) would thus be separated and reserved for this purpose only. It would contribute significantly to the water conservation. But if I remember correctly the BWA already suggested the colour coding of water pipes to take this into consideration; rain water as against water from BWA pipes.
    Com eon people we (individually) have the ability to solve these problems ourselves instead of depending on the government to do everything for us.


  25. David March 4, 2016 at 9:53 AM #


    And you expect the BWA to implement what you have suggested?


  26. are-we-there-yet March 4, 2016 at 11:02 AM #



    It wasn’t Crusoe that was harping on the prohibition of filling of Overhead tanks.

    The prohibition on filling of overhead tanks over 800 litres is actually unnecessary in the case of such tanks connected to BWA mains as they are automatically refilled as water is being used. THE RESTRICTION SHOULD BE ON THE USAGE OF THE WATER not on the filling of such tanks which is invisible to people outside the household and almost impossible to monitor unless the BWA employs an army of water inspectors.

    Requiring people to set up a macgyver system to comply with an inadequately worked out law is unhelpful and is unlikely to be taken up.

    Adoption of Bushtea’s suggestion of using historical vs, current monthly meter data to calculate monetary penalties would be much more even handed and workable.

    Colour coding of pipes used for water for different purposes and of different levels of purity makes sense.


  27. are-we-there-yet March 4, 2016 at 11:15 AM #


    Just saw your post above.

    Sorry to post more on this. It seems like belabouring a simple point and perhaps it is.

    But my overweening point is that the prohibitions, even though their objective is a good and necessary one, are inadequately thought out and are unlikely to be as effective as they should be because they CANNOT be adequately policed.

    My point is also that the Bushtea solution is workable but that partisan political considerations will ensure that it will not be implemented and that actually if the BLP and DLP could come together on this that the Island will benefit significantly on the effect such a system could have on reducing wastage of water over an extended period in and outside of drought situations.


  28. David March 4, 2016 at 11:26 AM #


    Agree with you.


  29. Colonel Buggy March 4, 2016 at 2:16 PM #

    Perhaps BWA needs to revisit this minimum charge clause, which in effect penalises home owners for not using enough water. Should there not be an incentive rather than a penalty for under usage ? We have heard stories of some people running a water hose all night to some banana trees just to get their monies worth from the Minimum Charge. People will continue to use, or waste, water with the notion that they are not anywhere near their minimum charge yet.


  30. Alvin Cummins March 4, 2016 at 9:22 PM #

    Do you really mean this? Don’t you really mean”Prosecute”?


  31. LOOK March 5, 2016 at 3:47 PM #


    You know too much Alvin Cummings, said it yourself on the Why Are We Not Exporting Coconut Water blog submitted by St. George’s Dragon 06/15/13 @ 5:52pm but just can’t save the Barbados ship from sinking, can’t do it. GOOD GRIEF CHARLIE BROWN!!!!

    Barbados would need a lot more than coconut water to save it. At moment, it needs more than tourism.


  32. are-we-there-yet March 5, 2016 at 6:38 PM #

    Colonel Buggy, re. your 2:16 pm post yesterday.

    THought a bit about your suggestion which seems to be an excellent one.

    Perhaps the BWA could develop a system that would vary the rates applied to individual domestic users (from their historical and current usage data) and derived from using one or more correction factors based on historical and current rainfall data, the breakeven revenue for BWA, the percentage of maximum volumes in the resevoirs, etc. etc.

    This system would be very similar to the one used by Emera for arriving at the individual water bills of all electricity users in Barbados. The correction factors would encompass the various elements that would affect individual usage plus an additional correction for wastage or conservation in periods of drought.

    I think it is doable but would have a very small likelihood of implementation by the political class even though it should result in transparent even handed rates across the whole spectrum of domestic users.

    A similar system could be used to arrive at reasonable rates for commercial concerns.


  33. Sargeant March 5, 2016 at 9:11 PM #

    @Alvin C
    I would also humbly propose that government build a series of reservoirs for non potable water, into which NON-POTABLE water from the sewage plants can be (COLOUR CODED)placed, and from which it can redrawn and trucked to assist in irrigation of fields, watering of cricket and recreational fields (cricket and polo etc.) trees, plants
    Non potable water (waste water effluent) is being used to irrigate plants, recreational fields, golf courses etc. and even some agricultural fields in Florida and California. Actually some plants do well with non- potable water due to the organic material and nutrients in the water. Go to Vegas? See how many Golf courses around that town? Anytime a visitor flushes a toilet in Vegas a golf course is impacted BTW the accepted colour for pipes transporting non potable water is purple.

    Future trend? Toilet to tap but you already knew that since you live in Toronto and the sewage treatment plants discharge its waste water into Lake Ontario and the City draws its drinking water supply from Lake Ontario, however what they are proposing in California is more direct.



  34. Hants March 5, 2016 at 10:30 PM #

    Barbados is surrounded by water. If Barbados became a “desert” water would still be available for



  35. Bush Tea March 5, 2016 at 10:40 PM #

    @ Sargeant
    “…..since you live in Toronto and the sewage treatment plants discharge its waste water into Lake Ontario and the City draws its drinking water supply from Lake Ontario,…”
    Thank you for clearing up THAT mystery…
    Many on BU had been stumped at the level of shiite coming from De Ingrunt Word, Alvin, and certain other bloggers who are from that particular neck of the woods….

    Vincent probably have his bottled and shipped in….. 🙂

    Where are you located again Sarge….?
    ha ha ha


  36. Hants March 5, 2016 at 10:59 PM #

    @ Bush Tea,

    A lot of us Torontonians have been drinking bottle water for years.


  37. Bush Tea March 5, 2016 at 11:08 PM #

    LOL @ Hants
    …..and you feel that they bypass Lake Ontario to fill those bottles…?
    You may just be paying more for the same shiite water Hantsie boy…..

    Come home Boss-
    the worse you can get here is some ‘Mary J’ residue from the Belle…. ha ha ha


  38. waterman14 March 5, 2016 at 11:39 PM #

    Barbados has been misled by General Electric and Williams into investing in a desal plant. Now GE has admitted publicly that there are cheaper sources of potable water available.


  39. Sargeant March 5, 2016 at 11:55 PM #

    @Bush Tea

    Keep fooling yuhself about that pristine water supply yuh got down there, yuh know yuh live on an island made up of limestone and at least 90 percent of the homes that have water toilets empty into wells that are dug till they meet a “suck”, when the water enters a “suck” where does it end up?

    Yuh think there is a special aquifer for you down there that is not contaminated by ground water runoff?

    Look fuhget I wrote the above, just keep dem scales over your eyes. =))


  40. Bush Tea March 6, 2016 at 7:50 AM #

    Man Sarge…. tek it easy nuh!!
    Bushie had long diagnosed the source of the brass bowlery in Barbados …and you are probably spot on…
    What had eluded the bushman so far, is how to explain DIW, your good self ….and ESPECIALLY Alvin. ha ha ha
    Hants is easy to explain – since, despite his shiite talk about ‘bottled water’, we all know that he hydrates on brandy….and other bottled stuff of that ilk..
    LOL … it is YEARS now that Bushie has been drinking rain water….from BBE’s desal plant…..and none from Bizzy’s …which sources its water from too damn near to the Mental for Bushie’s liking…. ha ha ha


  41. LOOK March 6, 2016 at 11:02 AM #


    The United States is a large country has pollution as does other large countries but other countries do not have the five Great Lakes – the largest known body of fresh water located in northern North America (United States/Canada): Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Excluding Lake Michigan, all are shared by both the United States and Canada. Only Lake Michigan is completely within the United States. Like it or not, the United States is large, powerful and rich in natural resources. Like it or not, Barbados is on its knees and NASTY.


  42. Colonel Buggy March 6, 2016 at 1:46 PM #

    Sargeant March 5, 2016 at 11:55 PM #
    You are quite right, Sarge, and this was ably demonstrated ,as I’ve mentioned previously, in the then Water Works Department abandoning twin-wells at Harrison’s Gully, St Thomas


  43. Vincent Haynes March 6, 2016 at 2:19 PM #

    Bush Tea March 5, 2016 at 10:40 PM #

    Bottled water from the Belle or Bowmanston…..good business to get into……BBEs rainwater full of sulphur here.


  44. waterman14 March 6, 2016 at 2:25 PM #

    What about the massive freshwater lens in the limestone aquifers under the island?


  45. David March 6, 2016 at 2:28 PM #


    To what empirical source do you refer to support?


  46. waterman14 March 6, 2016 at 8:08 PM #

    Millions of tax payers $ were paid to foreign consultants to develop reports on the prolific capacity of the freshwater lens. The BWA and John Mwansa have to know about these reports. Call and ask them. If they deny it, I have copies of these reports.


  47. David March 6, 2016 at 8:12 PM #


    Why don’t you save us time and email BU the reports? Government departments are not known for sharing information.


  48. waterman14 March 6, 2016 at 8:22 PM #

    David, I was totally ignored by the BWA, particularly John Mwansa and Minister Estwick when I was offering my technical expertise to them for FREE several months ago. Now the water situation in the country is approaching a critical stage. These bastards at BWA must be exposed for concealing information from the tax payers. Mia Motley must check into this too.


  49. waterman14 March 7, 2016 at 3:18 AM #

    I thought the reluctance of the government to share information only existed in China. From my recollection I think the freshwater lens studies were completed in Barbados under Owen Arthur’s watch.


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