Why Jamaica taps water at its own expense
Jamaica’s government has said it is replacing its tap water with a water that comes from a foreign company.
Key points:Jamaica taps water from an oil-based plant after discovering that a pipeline could leak, and it is now switching to a more efficient source of water sourceReuters 2/18 Water is being sold to Jamaica from a new pipeline that has a foreign operator as its first customerThe move is the first step in the country’s plans to switch from an import-dependent industry to a water-using oneReuters 3/18 A pump station is seen on a street in Kingston, Jamaica, October 21, 2017.
The move is being hailed as a major milestone in the development of the economy in the South African Caribbean country, where there are nearly 7 million people with limited access to clean waterSource: AP Photo/Ben Curtis 4/18 The Jamaica water is now sold from a company that is a partner of the country, and the government is working to switch to a new source of drinking waterSource andReuters 5/18 Jamaica’s water is being used to replace imported water from a plant owned by ExxonMobil that leaked into the country.
The country’s government says it is working on a new way to produce its own water from the oil-producing Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which spilled into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
The government is also trying to switch its water supply from the current import-based system to one that is more efficient.
The government is using a new water source to meet demand, and is trying to tap into the local water supply.
EPA 6/18 Residents of Kingston, in the north of the Caribbean nation, are still waiting for answers from the government on why it decided to buy the oil from ExxonMobil and why it switched to a foreign source of supplyReuters 7/18 It is not yet known whether the government will switch to the new water system or just keep using imported water, which is often dirty and expensiveSource: Reuters 8/18 Experts warn that the process could lead to water contamination, with some people dying from waterborne illnesses and diseases.
It is also the first time that a country has switched to using a foreign oil company for water.
The oil company, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, says it uses sustainable, climate-friendly techniques and has been in the process of transitioning to the use of more sustainable alternatives since 2010.
Reuters 9/18 This is the new (green) water being used in Jamaica: a system of pipes, pumps, valves, pipes and pumps.
The water from this system is being sent to a refinery in St. Lucia, and then it is piped to the country from a pipeline that carries it to the coast via Portugal.
The pipes are being manufactured in a plant in Kingston.
EPA 10/18 ‘It was just a very short time ago we had the biggest lead poisoning crisis in the world’ – Dr Michael Rooijenhuis, WHO senior adviser on water, WHO, speaking at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, on October 6, 2017AFP/Getty Images 11/18 People stand near the ExxonMobil gas station, which has been a major part of Jamaica’s economy since it opened in 2013, in Kingston on November 14, 2017Reuters 12/18 An ExxonMobil logo is seen in the window of a store in Kingston Thomson Reuters 13/18 Dr Michael Roos, WHO’s chief medical adviser, said: ‘The switch is a major step in Jamaica’s transition from an imported water source, and one that could result in an increase in exposure to harmful contaminants and other environmental and health problems.’
Getty 14/18 One person is pictured in Kingston as they wait to get water from ExxonCo’s plant, which produces water from oil and gas wells, in 2015Reuters 15/18 Workers install new pipes at the Exxon Mobil gas station in St Lucia, Jamaica on October 11, 2017, as part of the plan to switch the country to a source of fresh waterSource Reuters 16/18 On October 11 2017, the new plant, in St Martins, St Lucia will be the first new building in Jamaica to be powered by renewable energy and water from water supplied by a new system of pipelines and pumps, with the aim of helping the island meet its long-term water demands.
The plan was announced by the Health and Environment Minister, Dr Michael Gormley, after months of talks and months of debate about the need to switch away from fossil fuels.
EPA 17/18 There are now 8,000 workers in Jamaica as part the transition to a non-fossil fuel source for drinking water and sanitation Getty Images 18/18 To make sure the new pipes can be delivered, the government has hired a new construction company to help.
The company, called Crenn, is being hired to do the work in the same way as any other company, with all the responsibilities, including making sure the pipes can get to their destination. EPA 1/18