ANTIGUA OBSERVER – Antigua has the highest monthly water deficit in per cent terms in the entire OECS according to a new study on the issue.
The island is said to have a 36 per cent monthly water deficit or falling about 60 million imperial gallons short of the 168 million in demand every month.
The findings are reported by economist and director of the Caribbean Water Transshipment Company Allan Williams in the report – Towards a Deeper Understanding of he Caribbean Water Supply Crisis.
St Lucia is the second worse off in per cent terms at a 35 per cent deficit and actually has the highest total deficit of 77 million imperial gallons of water.
That equates to a monthly economic value loss of almost US 1.4 million for St Lucia compared to just over 1 million for Antigua.
The BVI and St Maarten only have 10 per cent deficits and together with Anguilla their losses are only a few US hundred thousand dollars per month.
The report suggests greater sharing of water resources regionally with Dominica for example which does not even make the list as it does not have a water deficit.
The report also warns about the move toward desalination saying this should be a last resort as the high costs create a need for an unsustainable level of subsidy to keep the water affordable for all.
That subsidy level on desalinated water reaches EC$51 per 1,000 gallons in Antigua according to the report. In comparison the report says water could be imported from Dominica at a much cheaper rate requiring only a $27 subsidy per 1,000 gallons.