Widespread Water Rationing As Dry Weather Continues To Impact St Vincent And The Grenadines

(CMC) – Residents across St Vincent and the Grenadines who are looking towards the mountains for signs of rain are seeing not the white of precipitation but Saharan dust as drought tightens its grip on the nation.

Rivers and reservoirs are low in St Vincent, resulting in the rationing of water, and in the Grenadines, where there are no streams, rivers or springs, cisterns are empty, resulting in Member of Parliament for the Southern Grenadines, Terrance Ollivierre, raising the issue in Parliament.

On Friday, Desiree Neverson-Jack, a forecaster at St Vincent and the Grenadines Meteorological Services, said in the 72-hour outlook that the chance of significant shower activity across the archipelago over the weekend is low “as moisture content remains limited at both low and middle levels, and sinking air aloft.”

Further, Saharan dust intrusion will continue across the island chain, limiting shower activity and reducing visibility and air quality, the forecaster said.

“The days will continue to be hot and humid. The highest chance of a few showers increases from Sunday night, with Monday forecast to be occasionally cloudy with a chance of few scattered showers,” the forecaster said.

Also on Friday, the Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA), the municipal supplier of water, announced water rationing in large sections of St Vincent.

Communities supplied by its Dalaway water supply system will see their supply turned off from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. (local time).

These include South Leeward, West Kingstown, and parts of Central and East Kingstown and West St George.

Consumers on the Montreal system will have no water from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., meaning that communities largely in the interior district of Marriaqua will be without water during these times.

The rationing will continue “until conditions improve at the source,” the CWSA said, adding that consumers should ensure that there is adequate water stored for homes and businesses.

The latest notices extend the water rationing to even more consumers, one month after they first came into effect for some communities.

CWSA has also said that disruptions may occur before or after the stipulated time and may go on for a longer period due to unexpected changes in demand and continuing reduction in river flow.