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APUA management faces “serious consequences” if water issues aren’t addressed

The cabinet again summoned the Antigua Public Utilities Authority’s (APUA) general manager, Esworth Martin, water manager, Ian Lewis and others to explain the ongoing interruptions in service.

According to the government, with the daily water production now at 7 million gallons of water per day thanks to its investment in several reverse osmosis plants, there is no reason why severe water shortages should still exist.

The country has an estimated requirement of 8 million gallons of water per day.

At this rate of production, Information Minister Melford Nicholas said water outages of more than two days in any area are now unreasonable.

“We invited the APUA officials to express at this time, significant dissatisfaction with the Water Division, especially in light of the fact that we would have provided much material resources to enable them to get to the level of production of reverse osmosis water,” he stated.

Nicholas said APUA was “read the riot act” on Wednesday during the cabinet’s meeting and guaranteed that APUA’s management will face “serious consequences” if they fail to address the country’s water woes.

“Notwithstanding, various members of parliament, including myself, have been complaining over significant periods of time that there are pockets of persons in the communities that still experiencing for periods of time no supply of water. This has been going on for between four and five days in some areas and for as much as three weeks in others. This is totally unacceptable!” Nicholas declared.

The APUA managers were instructed carefully rotate the distribution of water so that all communities are served regularly. He warned that the consequences could be severe if the problem persists.

While Nicholas did not say what form these consequences would take, he said the APUA officials were told “to shape up or ship out”.

“It’s unfortunate, as Wednesday’s discussion can be viewed as them (APUA) being read the riot act!” he stated.

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