Minister of Communication and Works today signed three agreements that he said will result in the government saving $2 million annually in water cost.
The agreements signed today with two companies will facilitate:
- The renewal of production at the Capoons Bay Water Plant on Tortola, with Aqua Design BVI Limited.
- Supplemental agreement for increased production in North Sound, Virgin Gorda, with Aqua Design BVI Limited.
- A supplement agreement with Ocean Conversion BVI Limited on Tortola.
Highlighting the benefits of the said agreements, the minister said: “Today marks the signing of three major Water Purchase Agreements, which will reduce the cost of water to the government by approximately 30 percent or approximately $2 million per annum, lowering the rate from an average cost of $19 per thousand gallons previously, to an average cost of less than $13 per thousand gallons.”
“As Minister for Communication and Works, I am very pleased to see this progress towards reducing the disparity between water purchased and water sold, which negatively impacted the government’s annual budgetary estimates,” Vanterpool said during the signing of the three agreements during a ceremony at the Premier’s Office, Road Town.
Also in attendance were regional business leader for Aqua Designs Limited Robert Gorgol, as well as director of Ocean Conversion Meade Malone.
According to Vanterpool, the relatively high cost of water production to the government has been a long-standing concern.
“Ever since this government took office in November 2011, the cost of water to the government has been a major concern. By directives from the Premier [Dr D Orlando Smith], as Minister for Communications and Works, it was my duty to make every effort to reduce this cost to the government. Since then, negotiations ensued with all the suppliers of water to the government to achieve this objective,” Vanterpool continued.
According to him, the signing of the three agreements today represents a significant milestone.
“This marks a significant milestone in our efforts to reduce the cost of water production to the government of the Virgin Islands… We consider this a major accomplishment, which is in keeping with government’s commitment to reduce the cost of water and have a more efficient Water Distribution Network.”
Vanterpool however noted that there are still challenges being faced in getting a steady supply of water to residents.
“I do recognize that we still have some challenges in terms of the reliability and consistency of the water supply in several communities, but I would use this opportunity to assure residents that every effort is being made to improve this situation,” he said.
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