Want to do laundry? No water…Want to wash dishes?? No water…. Want to take a shower? NO WATER!!!! Sounds familiar? This is the current situation in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Residents have been dealing with extreme low water pressure and water being shut off at all hours of the day and night leaving island residents high and dry.
Water shortages before and during the Easter break is nothing new to island residents, but it is something that is recurring more often and island residents are pretty much fed up with the water utility company.
Certain areas of the island have been experiencing low water pressure for months now and just recently the Belize Water Services Limited has been issuing notices on social media that there will be intermittent interruptions in the water supply because of ongoing works at the Pumping Station. Water never seems to be fully restored when stated and to make things worse they cut off the water supply at nights without explanation.
Island residents believe that the huge resorts and heavy construction around the island are to blame for this. No proper planning is being done and no one wants to take the blame for it. Back in 2010 when the island faced this similar situation a public meeting was held with the Public Utilities Commission in respect of the quality and security of supply of potable water to the public on Ambergris Caye by Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL) and Consolidated Water Belize Limited (CWBL). BWS blamed CWBL and the public was not allowed to comment during the meeting.
“CWBL has a water tank that holds one million gallons of water which is equivalent to a two day water supply,” commented Mr. Alvan Haynes, CEO of BWSL. “BWS only has a water tank that holds 300,000 gallons of water.” The water demand on the island is 490,000 gallons a day and according to Mr. Haynes, during the Easter break BWS had to reduce its water supply by reducing the water pressure and in some cases cut the supply of water to certain areas of the island in order to meet the demand. – This was the explanation back in 2010, fast forward eight years and we are still in the same situation or worse.
Ambergris Today contacted The Belize Water Services Limited San Pedro Branch and was told that today, Tuesday, March 27, 2018, the water pressure through the island will be at its lowest and that for the rest of the month (Easter Week) the pressure will be low because of the high demand of water during the Easter Break and because they have to be doing maintenance work on the pumping station.
Residents of Ambergris Caye fill up your containers and take early showers but most importantly make your voices be heard and feel free to complain to the Public Utilities Commission who is responsible of reviewing these complaints and taking proper measures to ensure the quality and security of supply of potable water to the public of Ambergris Caye.
The residents of Ambergris Caye call on the San Pedro Town Council and Public Utilities Commission to step up and address this issue at hand that can be very serious for island. The problem will surely extend beyond Easter break as the island is growing faster than the water company can supply water.
The Public Utilities Commission can be reached at 223-4938, by email at email@example.com or their website at www.puc.bz. San Pedro Town Council at 226-2198 and the Belize Water Services at 226-2749 (ask for the San Pedro Branch) or BWS hotline at 0-800-CALL-BWS (225-5297).