Gov't finalises potable water standards

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Gov't finalises potable water standards

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation says it has finalised the standards for access to potable water supply and improved sanitation as stated in the National Water Sector Policy and Implementation Plan 2019 (NWSP).

It means the country is closer to achieving the goal of having all households with access to potable water supply by 2030.

According to a statement from the ministry, the measure was outlined in a virtual information session held today under the theme, 'Water and Health'.

It outlined that the standards mean that the water supply will be:

• Safe — Potable water will conform to standards set by the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) and the World Health Organization (WHO);

• Convenient — Water supply will be delivered to the home, or as close as possible. Water supply should be no more than 500 metres from the home;

• Of sufficient quantity — Each person will have access to at least 50 litres per day;

• Reliable — Water supply will be available 24 hours per day, or otherwise on a predictable schedule; and

• Affordable — Pricing for water will continue to be arrived at by consultation with stakeholders. No one will be denied access to potable water because of an inability to pay.

Acting senior director of water policy and monitoring in the ministry, Talia Gibson said that with regard to sanitation, “cities and major towns will have sewerage services provided by a utility company.”

“Where sewerage service is not economically feasible, all new developments will have access to safe and environmentally friendly sanitation solutions, which will preserve the privacy and dignity of users,” she said.

“Standards for non-sewerage areas will be established and enforced by the National Building Code, MOHW regulations, stipulations by the municipal corporations and local authorities, and National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) guidelines,” Gibson added.

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