Dredging of John Compton Dam commences

By Hinkson Butcher, Ministry of Agriculture

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(GIS) – The Government of Saint Lucia through the Water and Sewage Company (WASCO), on May 21, held the ground breaking ceremony to signal commencement of works on the first phase of the John Compton Dam Rehabilitation Project.

The desilting project will see the removal of approximately 1.5 million cubic meters of sediment from the reservoir.

The dam, commissioned in 1996, had a capacity of approximately 660 million imperial gallons of water suppling approximately 100,000 individuals living in the north of the island. Over the last decade, the effects of climate change and the weather have lessened the capacity of the dam by 50 percent, reducing its capacity to approximately 300 million gallons of water due to the build-up of sediment.

Phase one of the project will see the construction of a sediment disposal area funded exclusively by WASCO from a drenching fee introduced in 2012. The fee was part of consumers’ bills, and has accumulated to approximately EC$25.95 million dollars.

The second phase of the project will include the installation of pipes and the removal of sediment. That phase will be financed through a loan secured from the Caribbean Development Bank. The overall cost of the project now stands at EC$54 million.

Upon completion of the project, residents in the north of the island will be guaranteed a consistent supply of portable water.

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