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NWC to purchase water in public/private partnership

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The National Water Commission (NWC) will purchase water for distribution to its customers in a public/private partnership deal brokered recently.

Mark Barnett, president of the NWC, made the disclosure at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’, on January 11, stating that the decision is “expected to at least reduce our losses to about 30 per cent”.

The NWC president was speaking against the background of a 15-million gallon water treatment facility to be constructed on the Rio Cobre at Content, near Dam Head, in St. Catherine.

Details on the private entity were not disclosed by Barnett but the NWC is integrally involved in the partnership, which sees the non-revenue water (NRW) component being complementary.

“The Rio Cobre is a steady flow of water even in the worst of situations. We have about 50 million gallons of water daily, so it makes sense as I don’t have to increase capital cost from creating storage. We only have to create a treatment facility and that is what we are pursuing now,” Barnett stated in a JIS article online.

The private entity has been contracted to build the facility, with construction set to get underway later this year.

The water boss says building the facility is one of the strategies being employed by the state agency to improve the company’s operational efficiency, improve capital asset base and expand the service.

The private enterprise has already secured financing under the arrangement to meet the 2018 commencement date, Barnett informed the group.

He said: “The treatment facility will impact Portmore, Kingston and Spanish Town.”

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