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									                       JAMAIC A’ S R ESPONSE
     THE UNITED N ATION S HUMAN RI GHTS COUNCIL DECISION 2/104
               HUMAN RI GHTS AND ACCESS TO WATER


The water policy of the Gover nment of Jama ica, including implementing legislation,
regulations, mea sures and mecha nisms, governing access to water a nd sanitation is
derived fr om the country’ s tra ditional and pr incipled position that “ water is life” . O n the
conviction that a ccess to clean, sa fe drinking water and good sanitation is a critical pre-
condition for economic development a nd a major index of the quality of life of the
people, u niver sal access to water a nd sa nitation r emain priority objectives of the
Jamaican G overnment.

Acknowledging that over thirty countries and a billion people in the developing world are
su ffering the effects of water shorta ges, and that 12% of the population in the developed
world u ses 85% of the world’ s water, the G over nment of Ja maica does not su pport any
call or action that would result in tr eating water as a commodity to be put on the open
market for sa le. As hu ma n life depends on the equitable distribution of water a nd its
su stainability, wa ter pricing and market for ces could lea d to a situation where water goes
to those who ca n affor d it. Jamaica suppor ts the participation of private interests in
national efforts to pr ovide equita ble a ccess to sa fe water and good sa nitation that is
ser viced a s a need and not pr ovided for pr ofit or commer cial gain.

Taking note of the impa ct of economic globalization, inclu ding the domina nce of
corporate rule on the natural system; industrial pr oduction; a nd the global consu mer
market; the G overnment of Ja maica also supports inter national negotiation and agr eement
to implement an inter national water la w that inter alia would define, unambigu ously,
water a s a ba sic need to which a ccess should become a hu man right, su bject to available
resources; pr omote conser vation; ba n toxic du mping; ta x and contr ol industr ial water use;
regulate cor porate agr ibu siness far ming; and penalize cor porate polluting.

    JAMAICA’S VIEWS ON INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS INSTRUMENTS
       RELATING TO EQUITABLE ACCESS TO SAFE DRINKING WATER
                           AND SANITATION

Exa mination of the r elevant inter national hu man rights instru ments indica tes that ther e
are no pr ovisions which explicitly speak to the equitable a ccess to sa fe drinking water
and sanitation. H owever, by virtu e of cer tain pr ovisions, it could be implied that ther e is
a huma n r ight to access sa fe drinking wa ter and sa nitation. For exa mple:

o       The Univer sal D eclaration of Huma n Rights does not specifically addr ess the
        matter. The Pr ea mble speak s to the rights derived fr om the inherent dignity of the
        huma n per son. Article 25 pr ovides that “ Ever yone ha s the right to a standard of
        living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his fa mily, including
        food, clothing, hou sing and medical care and necessar y social ser vices…”
o       Article 11 of the I nternational Covena nt on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
        (ICESCR) speak to the continuou s impr ovement of living conditions.

o       the Pr ea mble of the I nter national Covena nt on Civil and Political Rights speaks to
        the “inher ent dignity of the hu man per son.”

o       Article 14 of the Convention on the Elimination of a ll For ms of Discrimination
        against Women addr esses the needs of rural women and, in para graph 2 (h),
        speak s to the right of women to “ enjoy adequate living conditions” with specific
        refer ence to “water supply”.

o       Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child r ecognizes the right of the
        child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standar d of health. Article 2 7 also
        recognizes the right of the child to a standard of living adequate for the child’ s
        physical, mental, spiritual, moral a nd social development.

o       Article 2 of the ICESCR notes that each State Par ty “undertakes to take steps …to
        the maximum of its availa ble r esources, with a view to a chieving pr ogr essively
        the full realization of the rights recognized in the pr esent Covena nt by all
        appr opriate means, including particularly the adoption of legislative mea sur es”
        (empha sis a dded).

o       Article 4 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child states that: “( w)ith regard
        to economic, social a nd cultural rights, States Parties shall under take such
        measur es to the ma ximu m extent of their availa ble resources.” It therefor e
        remains that if ther e is a right to access sa fe drinking water and sanitation, it is not
        an absolute r ight.

Acknowledging that there is at the pr esent time no r ecognition in international la w of the
huma n right to water, viz, that if, for a ny r eason, sa fe drinking water is inaccessible to a n
individual, that individual, without more, could encounter difficulties in enfor cing such a
right in the courts, the G over nment of Ja maica r eiterates that all governments of the
inter national community should take the necessary steps, to the best of their abilities, to
ensur e that ther e is a ccess to sa fe drinking water for all.

    JAMAICA’S VIEWS ON THE GUIDELINES FOR THE REALIZATION OF THE
              RIGHT TO DRINK ING WATER AND SANITATION

National under sta nding is that the UN Huma n R ights Commission, now Cou ncil,
Guidelines for the Realization of the Right to D rinking Water a nd Sa nitation speak to the
right to a su fficient quantity of clea n water for per sonal a nd domestic u ses; accessibility;
and a ffor dable pricing; and r efer to the ava ilability a nd equita ble distribution of water;
the promotion of efficient water use; improvement of access; affor dability; water quality;
and the redu ction of conta mination. For exa mple, Article 2 makes r efer ence to Sta te
action to implement the right to water a nd sanitation a nd provides that States should at all



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levels of government “( f)or mally r ecognize the right to wa ter and sanitation in releva nt
laws a nd r egulations.”

The Guidelines’ r ecommendations ar e laudable a nd, while the G overnment of Jamaica
might not be able to account for all the recommendations set out in the Guidelines,
national legislation ca ptures some of the main pr ovisions to a large extent. Additionally,
as Ja maica’s legislation and policy measur es r ecognize that sa fe water is a basic need, it
is likely that the G over nment will support the UN dir ection that a ccess to sa fe drinking
water a nd sanitation should become a huma n r ight, but with the reser vation that this is not
an absolute right and will depend on the a vailability of r esources. It is in this context that
Jamaica recommends that consideration be given to the difference between a ccepting
that: (a) access to water should become a human right su bject to ava ilable r esour ces, and
(b) a ccess to water is toda y a hu man r ight.

       JAMAICA’S WATER AND SANITATION REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

While Ja maica ha s no legislation in place that specifically r ecognizes the right to water
and sa nita tion, existing legislation r ecognizes that water and sa nitation ar e ba sic hu man
needs. It is in this r egard tha t the Ja maica Water Sector Policy, Strategies a nd Action
Plans were for mulated by the Gover nment of Jamaica in 2002, to facilitate the structur ed
development of the water sector; realize the commitment to u niver sal a ccess by 2010;
and install sewera ge sanitation systems in all towns by 2020; encourage the u se of
fr eshwater and the treatment and disposal of wa stewater in an efficient, equitable and
su stainable manner consistent with the social, economic and envir onmental needs of the
cou ntr y’ s pr esent and futur e generations. For exa mple:

                               THE NATIONAL WATER POLICY

The objective of the na tional water policy is to enable action that will ha ve maximum
impact on national gr owth a nd development, for exa mple:
o      ena bling all Ja maican households access to sa fe dr inking water and good
       sanitation by 2010, access which will be ensur ed a nd satisfied thr ough a
       combination of hou sehold connections to piped water; water shops; wayside
       tanks and loa ding ba ys; community catchment ta nks; sta nd pipes; tru cking; a nd
       rain water har vesting.
o      development of the national and sub-national water and sa nitation sector,
       including rural water ser vices expa nsion; promoting water conser vation and
       dema nd-side mana gement a s means to r edu ce the demand for water ; reducing
       unaccou nted-for -wa ter and leaks thr ough metering and r eplacement of water
       mains; overhauling the billing system to incr ease revenue and enable expansion of
       the ser vice; and encoura ging and fa cilitating pr ivate sector participation.
o      impr oving the efficiency of the National Water Commission (N WC), the
       cou ntr y’ s main water ser vice provider to enable lower provision costs; gr eater



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       availability of water; gr eater N WC pr ofitability for expansion of the wa ter supply
       and enhanced cu stomer ser vice.
o      expa nding the central sewa ge fa cilities in all major towns; r eha bilitating existing
       systems in k eeping with national a nd international envir onmental standards.
o      intr oducing cost recover y mecha nisms to ensur e that the dir ect beneficiar y pa ys
       and that the supply of ser vices is maintained and enha nced.

                              THE WATER RESOURCES ACT 1995

Jamaica’s Water Resour ce Act 1995, was pr omulgated in 1996, as r esponse to the
acknowledged need for a unified a nd cohesive legislative fra mework to enable the pr oper
administration, development a nd optima l use of Ja maica’ s water r esources; adequate
water r esources planning to ensur e the ra tional development, equitable allocation of water
resources a nd the contr ol a nd mana gement of wa ter quality in aquifer s a nd str ea m
cha nnels. It is in this r egar d that the Act established the Water R esource Authority
(WRA) to r egulate, allocate, conser ve and other wise mana ge the country’ s water
resources; viz:
o      collect, compile a nd disseminate hydr ologic data.
o      undertake planning functions in relation to the national Water Resour ces Master
       Plan and Wa ter Quality Contr ol Plans.
o      allocating water thr ough per mits a nd licences.
o      contr olling the quality of water in confor mity with the Act.

Use of Permits and Licences
The allocation of water r esources thr ough per mits to drill/alter wells and licences to
abstract and use water is one method of control to pr event over a bstra ction of r esources
and regulate the discharge of efflu ents on the environment. Wher e a licence is gra nted
for the a bstraction a nd u se of water that will generate an effluent, a simulta neou s
application mu st be made to the National Envir onment and Planning Agency (NEPA) for
a licence to dischar ge effluent. No licence is r equired to abstra ct and use water wher e the
per son ha s the right of access to the source of wa ter and the water is requir ed for
hou sehold purposes only.

                              THE PARISHES WATER SUPPLY ACT

The Par ishes Water Supply Act defines the scope and substance of the r ole of the Parish
Councils in national water production a nd su pply. For exa mple, the Parish Councils ma y
fix the water rates to be paid in the District and set out the pr ocedur e for su ch rates.
Additionally, all ta xpa yer s resident in a District pa ying water rates shall be entitled to
water su pply from the pu blic water supply in the D istrict. A Parish C ouncil is entitled to
sell and dispose of water from any water works in the District at its discr etion and, “if
they think fit”, may su pply water fr ee of water rates or other char ges.



                                              4
                                   THE PUBLIC HEALTH ACT

The Pu blic H ealth Act speak s to the pr evention of conta mination of food and drink and
gives the Minister of H ealth the power to ensur e, inter alia, “the inspection a nd pr evention
fr om conta mination of food and drink intended for hu man consu mption, the analyzing
and testing of sa mples of su ch food and drink by an official analyst, the issuing of
certificates in relation ther eto, and the condemnation, seizur e and disposal of such articles
as ar e unfit for hu man consumption”.

                          THE NATIONAL WATER COMMISSION ACT

The National Water Commission Act speaks to the quality, r eliability a nd availability of
water su pply ser vices a nd the rates char ged.

                     THE NATIONAL DRINKING WATER REGULATIONS

The dra ft National Water R egulations, an impor tant cor ollar y of the Water Sector Policy,
should come into effect end of 2007 as means of ensuring that the water produ ced and
distr ibuted is safe a nd healthy. The new r egulations were developed u nder the Public
Health Act in line with the Millenniu m Development Goals and will r epla ce the World
Health Or ganization’ s Guidelines and I nterim Ja maica Standar ds for drinking water. The
Regulations ar e obligatory for per sons providing drinking water and implementation will
be monitor ed by the Ministr y of H ealth ( MOH) . Inter alia , the Regulations:
1.      make it ma nda tor y for all ser vice provider s of drinking water to obtain MOH
        appr oval to operate in both the public a nd pr ivate domain.
2.      shift the responsibility for quality assurance and quality contr ol fr om the
        regulator y author ities to the ser vice pr ovider s.
2.      oblige adoption and implementation of new testing methods for contamina nts.
3.      ena ble the Ministr y of Health to appr ove la borator ies’ enga gement in water
        testing a nd stipulate the r epor ting requir ements.
4.      str engthen enfor cement strategies.

                     THE NATIONAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT

The National Solid Waste Ma nagement Act established the Solid Wa ste Mana gement
Author ity with functions that include effective ma nagement of solid waste (medical a nd
hazar dou s wa ste) in Jama ica a s mea ns to safeguard public health. The Author ity also
reviews a pplica tions for solid wa ste licenses a nd, in this r egard, is ma ndated to invite the
written comments or recommendations of the national water r esources authorities to
ensur e appr opr iate decision-making in r elation to the ma nagement of solid wa ste and the
protection of water quality.




                                                5
             THE NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION AUTHORITY ACT

Ena cted in 1991, the Natural Resour ces Conser vation Authority Act governs the effective
mana gement of the physica l envir onment of Ja maica, viz, the wildlife, water shed a nd
bea ches and pr ovides:
1.     for a r egulator y power to set qualitative standards for water and the control of
       dischar ges of wa stewater into waters or on and into the gr ound.
2.     that it is an offence to dischar ge on or cau se or per mit the entr y into water s or into
       the gr ound of sewa ge or tra de efflu ent including the dischar ge of any poisonou s,
       noxiou s or polluting matter except under and in a ccor da nce with a licence granted
       under the Act.
3.     for the establishment of the National Resources Conser vation Author ity (NRC A)
       to develop, implement a nd monitor pla ns and pr ogra mmes r ela ting to the
       mana gement of the environment and for mulate standar ds and codes of practice for
       the impr ovement a nd ma intenance of the quality of the envir onment.

                      THE OFFICE OF UTILITIES REGULATION ACT

The O ffice of Utilities Regulation Act governs the su per vision of utility services in
Jamaica and defines utility ser vices to include the supply or distribution of water and
established the O ffice of Utilities Regulation (O UR) a s the over sight body.




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    JAMAICA’S WATER AND SANITATION STRATEGIES AND ACTION PLANS

Strategies and a ction pla ns ar e developed and executed in line with national a nd
inter national envir onmental standards with su stained attention to the quality of water
produ ced a nd supplied.

The Water Resources Development Master Plan

The Water Resources Development Ma ster Pla n ca me into effect to enable the
mana gement of nationa l water r esour ces in or der to su stain the water supply and optimize
on water u se in an efficient, cost-effective a nd timely ma nner . The Pla n defines water
resources a s the su pply a nd demand of the country’ s hydrologic basin level, viz, the
grou nd a nd sur fa ce water quality a nd quantity. The following strategies and pr ojects
wer e identified a s means to rea lize better water r esour ces ma nagement and a mor e
relia ble water supply system for domestic and irr igation u ser s:
o      harmonization of water quality control a mong all agencies in the water sector.
o      development of a Flood Water Contr ol Pla n; Flood Plain Mapping; Water Quality
       Atlas; and Pollution Risk Ma ps.
o      incr ease public education on water conser vation.
o      expa nd irrigation services in line with the National Irrigation D evelopment Plan.
o      establish Water User s’ Associations as means of increa sing far mer involvement in
       the irr igation pr ocess a nd farm income; pr omoting efficient on-far m water use;
       and enabling operation and maintenance of irr igation equipment.
o      impr ove irrigation efficiencies; conditions of canals; install pipe systems and
       measur ing devices a nd increa se water storage fa cilities su ch a s micr o-da ms.

The N ational Irrig ation Development Plan

The National Irrigation Development Pla n defines the country’ s ir riga ble area s and
irrigation water demand; assesses the state of the irrigated agricultural sector ; and
identify/prioritize pr ojects for implementation. The N WC has responsibility for
developing the Pla n, in colla boration with the National Irr igation Commission (NI C), and
for pr eparing Parish Pla ns (assess water needs at the sub-national levels and pr opose
appr opriate solutions) and implementation of the Plan.




                                              7
    THE NATIONAL WATER/SANITATION INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK

Jamaica ha s a str ong institutional framework in pla ce to mana ge the water supply and
sanitation ser vices and pr omote and pr otect the inter ests of the people in r ela tion to
accessing sa fe drinking water a nd good sanitation. National water pr odu ction and
distr ibution are r ealized by the State a nd its Agencies, with the private sector having a
contr ibutor y r ole at a ver y small scale.

                                THE MINISTRY OF WATER

The Ministr y of Water wa s created in 1998 to signal the pr e-eminence a nd centrality of
access to water in the national development process a nd ha s responsibility for policy
development a nd the coor dination of water ma nagement r elated activities.

                          THE NATIONAL WATER COMMISSION

The National Water Commission (N WC) is a statutor y body esta blished in 1980 by the
National Water Commission Act and char ged with the responsibility to provide and
impr ove urba n and rural water supply and sa nita tion services and make r ecommendations
to ena ble access to an efficient, coor dinated a nd cost-effective water supply system.
NWC is also r esponsible for the collection, tr eatment a nd disposal of ur ban sewerage
systems and empower ed to make sewerage connections wher e it constru cts, extends or
operates a ny sewerage system.

NWC Action to ward Universal Access

Since 2002, communities isla nd-wide have benefited from the pr ojects implemented by
the NWC. To date, the NWC pr oduces and distributes appr oximately 190MDG of wa ter ,
ser ving over 500,000 customer s, appr oximately 85 % of the general popula tion thou gh a
complex system incorporating about 140 wells; 320 water supply fa cilities; 68
wa stewater tr eatment pla nts; a nd 95 sewage pu mping stations, collecting a nd tr eating 53
million gallons of wa stewater per day. These a chievements ar e the r esults of the
successful completion of variou s pr ojects, inclu ding aimed specifically at:

Production and Distribut ion of Safe Drinking Water

Projects completed since 2001 to enable access to sa fe drinking water and good sa nitation
in the rural and urba n ar ea s r espectively, include:

o      the Lu cea/Negril Water Supply Project (installation of tra nsmission and
       distr ibution mains a nd construction of two water storage tank s) completed in
       April 2001, to pr ovide adequate and reliable water supply for the people
       (appr oximately 50,000 per sons, hotels and other developments in Lu cea/Negril
       and surr ounding ar eas, fa cilitating the Parish’ s economic gr owth.




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o      the Great River Water Supply Pr oject completed in O ctober 2005, with the
       expa nsion of water production capa city and installation of a trunk main from the
       Great River to Lucea and impr oving on water su pply for appr oximately 60,000
       per sons, hotels a nd other developments located between the Gr eat River a nd the
       Parishes of Lucea and Ha nover a nd obtaining significant redu ction in non-
       revenue water.

o      the Milk River Water Su pply Pr oject completed in O ctober 2006, resulting in the
       rehabilitation of wa ter su pply a nd stora ge facilities; repla cement of the defective
       pipeline network; a nd installation of transmission a nd distribution mains.

o      the Yallahs Pipeline Restoration Project completed in 2006, with r epair and
       restoration of the conveyance system for the Mona Reser voir ser ving Kingston
       and St Andrew and the Yalla hs pipeline a nd intake fa cilities and r iver works
       dama ged by Hurrica ne I van.

o      the Red Stripe Hurricane R estoration Project substa ntially completed with the
       rehabilitation and expansion of water su pply systems in seven parishes, viz:
       -       the Ventur e River and Westmor eland pipelines, intake works, pu mping
               stations and r eser voir s (the Trela wny Sher wood pipeline, tr eatment work s
               and reser voir s to be completed).
           -
o      Sewera ge covera ge is impr oving with the major ity of hou seholds still served by
       individual sanitation systems and appr oximately 24% connected to sewerage
       systems.
       -       The N WC lau nched its Wa ste Water Treatment a nd Sewa ge Efflu ent
               Operations R ehabilitation Progra mme in a ccor da nce with the National
               Sewa ge Efflu ent Regulations to impr ove wa stewater tr eatment a nd the
               quality of efflu ent.

Funding

The N WC is r esponsible for increa sing its operational efficiency to enable cost r eduction
to the lowest efficient levels, for exa mple thr ough systematic planning to enable the
contr ol demand a nd r edu ce the amount of capital expenditure needed; use of cost
recover y mechanisms to ensur e that the beneficiaries of ser vices pa y; applying mea sur es
to r educe system leak s.

                                  THE P ARISH COUNCILS

Parish Councils have the r ole of operating the minor water su pply systems (rainwa ter
catchment, wa yside ta nks) at the local level and ha s responsibility for water distribution
and collection of u ser charges.




                                              9
                                   THE P RIVATE SECTOR

The Government of Ja maica sees privatization a s among the strategies to secur e
economic benefits and not an end in itself. For exa mple, effor ts to include private sector
participation in the water and sewerage sector ar e aimed at impr oving the availa bility,
quality and cost-effectiveness of ser vices deliver ed.        I n r elation to the water and
sanitation sector s, the Government of Ja maica expects private participation to r esult in
impr oved availa bility, quality a nd cost-effectiveness of the services deliver ed a nd a ny
such participation mu st be in the national inter est and meet certain criter ia, such a s:

                         THE OFF ICE OF UTILITIES REGULATION

The Act the O ffice of Utilities Regulation (O UR) wa s esta blished by the Act in 1995 with
the r esponsibility to receive and pr ocess a nd review all applications for licenses a nd rate
reviews fr om the utility compa nies. It is also the OUR’ s responsibility to establish the
sta ndar ds that guide the operations of utility compa nies including the N ational Wa ter
Commission.

In r elation to the national water supply sanitation ser vices, O UR r egulates the bala nce
between protecting consu mer inter ests; str engthening NWC ca pacities to impr ove on
these ser vices in the urba n and rural area s and r ecover efficient cost levels; and
encouraging other investor s to participate in the provision and improvement of these
ser vices. I n this r egar d, the objectives of the OUR are to:
1.     establish and maintain tra nspar ent, consistent and objective rules for the
       regulation of utility ser vice pr ovider s.
2.     promote the long ter m, efficient pr ovision of utility services for national
       development consistent with Gover nment’ s policy.
3.     provide an avenue of a ppeal for consu mer s in their r elationship with the utility
       ser vice pr ovider s.
4.     work with other r elated a gencies in the pr omotion of a su stainable envir onment.
5.     act independently a nd impartially.

Guar anteed St andards

The Guaranteed Standar ds r elate to individual service from the r espective utility
compa nies and attra ct a fina ncial penalty if the company brea ches these sta ndar ds. Ther e
are also overall standards which r elate to the entir e customer ba se, in the ca se of the
NWC, the wa ter quality and water pr essur e provided.




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Promoting and Regulat ing Priv ate Sector Involvement
In relation to the G over nment’ s commitment to u niver sal a ccess to pota ble water by the
year 2010, the O ffice of Utilities Regulation ha s implemented the policy of encoura ging
private sector participation in the distribution of water to widen a ccess to sa fe drinking
water and good sanitation. This policy is being implemented mainly thr ough licensing
small private water pr ovider s to opera te in geogra phically specific ar ea s pr oviding water
and sewera ge ser vices. Ther e are curr ently eight (8) private license water and sewera ge
entities operating in Ja maica, mainly in the Parishes of St. Ann a nd St. Ca therine.
However licenses have also been issued for entities in the Parish of St. Mar y.

Protecting Consumer Interests
A principal r esponsibility of O UR is to sa feguard consumer s’ inter ests with respect to the
quality of ser vice provided and, to attain this objective established a nd implemented
guaranteed standar ds and a series of overall standards against which the ser vice provided
is mea sur ed. The O UR also investigates possible br ea ches of license conditions by the
utility companies and takes enfor cement a ction where appr opr iate, all designed to pr otect
the inter ests of consumer s.

    PRACTICAL APPLICATION AND IMPACT OF NATIONAL LAWS, POLICIES
                         AND PROGRAMMES

An examination of the improvements in Ja maica’ s water supply fr om 1992 to pr esent
indicates tha t mor e tha n 500,000 people have access to piped potable water for the fir st
time or to significant impr ovements to their water supply, for exa mple:
‫ﻤ‬      in 1992: 60% of Jama ica n households ha ve a ccess to piped water; 15% a ccessed
       water by other means ( inclu ding sta ndpipes); and 75% ha d overall a ccess to water
       supply.
‫ﻤ‬      in 2007: 74% of Jama ica n households ha ve a ccess to piped water; 11% a ccessed
       water by other means ( inclu ding sta ndpipes); and 85% ha d overall a ccess to water
       supply.
‫ﻤ‬      the national wa stewater tr eatment a nd sewa ge efflu ent operations

            NATIONAL WATER EMERGENCY RESPONSE PROCEDURES

The national water systems are extremely vulnerable to all types of disa ster conditions,
especially drou ghts and hurrica nes and the National Water Commission (NWC) has
strategies in place to mitigate the impact of these sever e conditions, inclu ding a ra nge of
water ma nagement mea sures tailor ed to meet specific needs of ea ch area/system.
Disa ster conditions may be very shor t, a s in the ca se of a n earthquake or a landslide, or
very long, a s in a flood or dr ought. Ja maica’ s bimodal rainfall patter n consists of two
periods of peak rainfall (O ctober a nd May) and two corr esponding per iods of low or no
rainfall (February a nd Mar ch) and requir es emergency responses when too mu ch or too
little a ffect agricultur e; nor mal strea m flow and r eser voir stora ge.


                                              11
                              THE DROUGHT RESP ONSE PLAN

As Jamaica experiences different types of dr ought to differing degr ees, differ ent types of
responses and the inter vention of a variety of Agencies individually a nd colla boratively
are requir ed. The decline in yield during the periods of low rainfa ll impacts on the
cou ntr y’ s 400 small sur face-water dependent supply sources which cau ses a redu ction in
the availability of ra w water to tr eat a nd distribute. Low or no rainfall per iods also r esult
in a significa nt incr ea se in the demand for water to fight fires.

The NWC D rou ght Response Plan wa s developed to pr ovide a n effective a nd systematic
means for the entir e island to reduce the impa cts of water shorta ges over the short or long
ter m a nd outlines a mechanism for coor dinated dr ought monitor ing; impa ct assessment;
response to emergency dr ought pr oblems; a nd mitigation of long ter m dr ought impa cts.

Short Ter m Drought Response

‫ﻤ‬       trucking wa ter
‫ﻤ‬       valve regulation and scheduled rationing of water
‫ﻤ‬       deploy mea sures to extra ct the maximu m possible yields from all available
        sources
‫ﻤ‬       deploy mea sures to r edu ce water wa ste a nd leakage
‫ﻤ‬       encourage wa ter conser vation throu gh pu blic educa tion and a dvertising in the
        print a nd electronic media.

Long Term Droug ht Respo nse
‫ﻤ‬       identify and develop more well sources less su sceptible to drou ght conditions.
        Most of the national water systems affected by dr ought conditions are those
        supplied by sur face sour ces
‫ﻤ‬       expa nd catchment fa cilities, especia lly in the Kingston a nd St Andrew areas
        where the significant and growing population ha s caused a spiralling dema nd on
        water su pply.
‫ﻤ‬       encourage participation of other service pr ovider s to meet cu stomer needs.
‫ﻤ‬       identify additional water supply sources and extend and impr ove existing
        supplies.
                             THE HURRICANE RESPONSE P LAN

The National Water Commission’ s response plan for the Caribbean a nd Atlantic Ba sin
Hurricane Sea son which begins 01 June ending 30 November is compr ehensive and
fra med in the NWC Hurrica ne Disa ster Prepar edness Ma nual which guides the operation
of the NWC D isaster Pr eparedness Committees. The Disa ster Pr epar edness Manual
details the-step-by-step pr e-a nd-post-disa ster a ctivities to be undertaken in the national
Ar ea s; exter nal and inter nal communication; checklists and conta ct details of Parish
Disa ster Coor dinator s. It is the responsibility of the Disa ster Pr epar edness Committees to
review the Manual annually and u pda te wher e necessary. Additionally, ea ch N WC Area


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Disa ster Pr eparedness Committee and Cor porate Administration D epartment mu st ensur e
that a ny cha nges to the infra structur e, designated per sonnel or area s are communicated by
March ea ch year to ena ble the necessar y cha nges.
Emphasis is pla ced on the distance and time of a hurrica ne fr om Jama ica r ather tha n on
the latitude and longitude. A tra cking ma p is u sed to obtain updated infor mation on the
speed, location, direction and extent of a hurricane which deter mine how early ra infall
hits a nd also dictates the a ction of the N WC D isa ster Pr epar edness Committees. The
following highlights facets of the national response pla n.

Pre-Disaster Respo nse / H urricane Warning
In the event of a hurricane, a NWC follow-up advisor y is issued inter nally, officially
pla cing N WC on alert; emer gency infor mation to be placed on the air wa ves is fed to the
NWC Public Relations D epartment; ra dio commer cials ar e run advising customer s to
stor e water befor e the hurricane is du e to make landfall; a dvisories are sent to the media
on the lik ely shutdown of systems
Member s of Disa ster Pr epar edness Committees should meet at lea st 12 hou rs pr ior to the
onset of a hurrica ne to reinfor ce plan of a ction to ensure the lea st possible dama ge to
plants and equipment. For exa mple, r esponse to a hurrica ne loca ted at:

       1824-1248 kilometer s Ea st of Morant Point traveling at 16-24km per hour in a
       NW dir ection 32-34 hour s a way ( or 12 -14 deg. N . Lat. / 60-65 deg. W. Lon):
              All Ar ea Disaster Ma nager to be notified and be on alert; Ea ster n Division
               Vice Pr esident to make a nd sustain conta ct with the national O ffice of
               Disa ster Pr epar edness and Mana gement (ODPEM) ; updates issued to the
               Public Relation for general r elea se; all generating pla nts and emer gency
               vehicles topped up with fuel; all reser voir s br ought to top level and kept as
               close to that level a s operations allow;
       1248-688km Ea st of Morant Point, tra veling at 16 -24km/hour a nd 24hour s a wa y
              in the daylight hour s, water tru cks and ta nker s to be filled with water a nd
               stor ed at designated area s; remove low grou nd equipment ( su ch as pu mps,
               engines) to high grou nd within 12 hour s; pr eparations u ndertak en to divert
               river flows 12 hours later
       688-128km East of Mora nt Point, traveling at 16 -24km/hour a nd 12hours awa y
              pr epar e for locking in r eservoir s, 2 -3hour s in a dva nce; shut down water
               fa cilities: wells (2 -3hour s in adva nce) /tr eatment pla nts (3-4 hour s in
               adva nce) /relift stations (3 -4hours in a dva nce) ; wa stewater pla nts: opening
               bypa ss to pla nt (2-3 hour s in advance)/shutting down pumps (2-3 hour s in
               adva nce) .




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Post-Disaster Res ponse
‫ﻤ‬           Ar ea Ma nager s/designated per sons make quick a ssessments, 2-6 hour s a fter the
            hurricane and submit reports (to Technical Ser vices Mana ger, Divisional Vice-
            Presidents) to ena ble pr eparation of pr eliminary dama ge assessment r eport and
            needs list.
‫ﻤ‬           NWC Emer gency Committee to be a dvised of preliminary da ma ges 4 -6 hour s
            after the hurricane and meet with ODPEM, National Work s Agency ( NWA),
            JPSCO , Ca ble & Wir eless to confir m mutual aids need.
‫ﻤ‬           check on start-up of systems wher e da ma ge is not a limiting factor 6-12 a fter the
            hurricane (a ssuming electricity is a vailable); dry out motors to begin a ctivating
            sta nd-by generator s; ensure and maintain security of r eservoir s; and a ctivate
            repair cr ew.

‫ﻤ‬           pr eparation to meet actual needs list, inclu ding to pr ovide porta ble tr eatment
            plant; portable collapsible wa ter ta nks; r epair cla mps; chlor ine.

‫ﻤ‬           produ ction a nd distribution of water fr om unda maged systems to r esu me within
            18-36 hour s.
‫ﻤ‬           distr ibution of stor ed r eser voir water 2 hour s a fter; mobile ta nker s will also be
            used.

NWC Dis aster Recovery Information Syste m
NWC’ s Disa ster Recover y Infor mation System (DRI S), a data ba se on the water supply
and wa stewater systems a nd area s ser ved by each system, is used to capture a nd a dvise
on the statu s of all systems island-wide following the pa ssa ge of tropical stor m or
hurricane a nd pla ys an importa nt role in the national r ecover y process. The DRIS allows
the NWC Cor porate Disa ster Tea m to compile a compr ehensive report on the statu s of
the systems in a timely and effective ma nner, including:
‫ﻤ‬           provision of infor mation on NWC “jobs in pr ogr ess” that may pose potential
            thr eat to pedestrians and vehicular tra ffic.

‫ﻤ‬           capture a nd stor e details and updates on all NWC fa cilities in ea ch Parish a nd
            Ar ea a nd on da mages su stained.


                                                               ***********




INTE RNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS DE P ARTME NT
MINIS TRY OF FORE IG N AFFAIRS AND FORE IGN TRADE OF JAMAICA
NOVE MBE R 2007.




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