Temporary water restrictions implemented in the Turks and Caicos

Temporary water restrictions implemented in the Turks and Caicos

A greater demand on the water supply system in the Turks and Caicos has forced the island’s water utility company to enforce water restrictions during the night in some areas to ensure enough water is available, especially to critical customers. 

Provo Water Company Limited has come under pressure over the past couple of days as some customers complained of dry taps and unfair waiting times for water to return to their homes.

Managing Director of Provo Water Company, Robert Hall, in a statement to customers explained that March 2024 saw unprecedented demand on its water supply system which impacted its ability to keep the Suzie Turn tank full.  

The Suzie Turn tank caters to two-thirds of the Island’s water needs. 

He said Provo Water turned down the water outflow from Suzie Turn tank during the night which reduced water pressures to areas such as Lower Bight, Turtle Cove, Cheshire Hall, Blue Hills, Wheeland, Five Cays, South Dock and Chalk Sound.  

Hall noted that over the last three decades, the island’s water supply has never been a problem, but this year was different.  

“The demand on the water system was unparalleled with more than 73 million gallons alone used in March. This meant the Suzie Turn tank emptied more during the day than it filled overnight,” said Hall.  

This presented Provo Water with a significant operational challenge and despite efforts to address the issue through other interventions, the company was forced to limit the outflow.  

He explained that without restricting the outflow Provo Water risked being unable to supply water west of Suzie Turn including critical customers like the hospital and the international airport.  

Hall said by implementing this temporary measure, the water company could mitigate the immediate risk and ensure enough water was available to meet the following day’s requirements.  

However, the public has been told they’re not out of the wood yet with the demand of the Easter holidays coming.  

Provo Water has taken a long-term view of the investment required to see the Turks and Caicos Islands through the current growth spurt and demand growth in the future. 

Hall said to deal with water management, Provo Water in January commissioned a 1.5 million gallon storage tank to the west of the island in anticipation of future growth.  

It also started construction on a new 16inch pipeline to increase the supply into the system from the production plant. Provo Water also proposed enhancing the pipeline along the Leeward Highway that supplies Suzie Turn tank as well as proposed constructing a new production plant in Wheeland. 

With all this in motion, the public is being urged to do its part and practice water conservation, especially in areas not affected by water restrictions.  

According to a statement issued by Provo Water a week ago, it said in light of the exceptionally high demand experienced from now until the end of April 2024, it has reluctantly implemented nightly water restrictions from 9:30 pm to 6 am.  

Property owners have been asked to consider utilising backup cisterns where feasible and to exercise utmost restraint in water consumption during this period. 

  • PublishedMarch 26, 2024

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