(PRESS RELEASE) – Topping some of the leading water management projects from around the world, the Kingston and Saint Andrew (KSA) Non-Revenue Water Reduction (NRW) Co Management Programme, being implemented by the National Water Commission (NWC), in collaboration with Miya Jamaica, copped the award for best Innovative Wet Infrastructure Project, at the WEX Global 2020 Gala Dinner and Award Ceremony- held on March 3, at the Oceanografic Aquarium, in Valencia, Spain.
The KSA NRW project was named winner by a judging panel of eight international experts in the water and energy sectors. The project demonstrated the highest level of environmental, social and water resource impact; as well as showed excellence in its social, economic and environmental design.
According to the organizers “The Infrastructure category recognises significant innovative wet infrastructure projects and initiatives within the water industry, [especially those bearing] unique or outstanding features-putting in place the models and living systems which we need for a thriving planet and ecosystem”.
With eight other award categories, including: Process Technology; Water & Energy; Water & Wastewater Management; GoAigua Circular Economy Water Project of the Year 2020; and Financing Partnerships-The Wex Global Awards is mandated to acknowledge “Organisations that have made a significant contribution to the water and wastewater sector, with special emphasis on innovative energy reduction and environmental considerations; the sustainable future; financial resilience, and innovation”.
This award helps to position Jamaica as an active and forward-thinking nation where sustainable development, specifically environmental protection and water management are concerned.
In 2015, Miya together with NWC, sponsored by Inter-American Development Bank, entered into a five-year co-management programme aimed at maximizing the efficiency of KSA’s water system. The focus being NRW reduction and capacity building for the NWC staff.
Since then, over 200 NWC professionals- all of whom underwent specialized and technical training- work daily to execute state of the art NRW reduction practices, including: leak detection and prompt leak repairs; efficient pressure management; meter installation and validation; and GIS and asset management.
On the Co-Management Team, 97% of the employees are Jamaicans, with an increasing participation of women, currently representing 20% of the workforce.
This innovative infrastructure project (the NRW Programme), impacted the lives of thousands of Jamaicans in several KSA communities, through the reduction of significant portions of the system input volume and the granting of a highly efficient water distribution system. Furthermore, the project is primarily responsible for boosting the billed water volume, bringing huge economic benefits to the NWC and Jamaica.
Social and behavioural change interventions including the NWC-Miya Water Conservation School Education Programme and frequent community meetings are also campaigns used to communicate with and impact the lives of community members residing in the Social Challenging Areas (SCA’s) of KSA. The programme through a full social study, universal metering and comprehensive customer follow-up strategy is fostering proper customer retention within NWC and securing a sustainable future for the utility company.