Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 13, 2020 (SKNIS): Director of the Water Services Department (WSD) in St. Kitts, Charles Parris, strongly encourages residents in St. Kitts and Nevis to practice water conservation. The COVID-19 pandemic makes this request even more urgent as the traditional dry season approaches.

Mr. Parris noted that the 24-lock-down period due to COVID-19 has impacted the water supply on the island as persons are “heading to the taps more frequently” which in turn has inevitably led to an increase in water usage.

While speaking at Monday’s (April 13, 2020) National Emergency Operations Centre COVID-19 Daily Briefing, Mr. Parris pointed out that properly using soap and water for hand hygiene is a key recommendation by health experts to protect against contracting the Novel Coronavirus. He added that residents must guard against wasting water, which is vitally needed for this war against COVID-19 and everyday life.

When you are at home do not allow the tap to run for any longer than it has to,” he said, suggesting that reducing the flow of water when washing hands should be strongly considered. “Twenty seconds at full [flow] that’s almost 1.5 litres of water that can go. If it is reduced, probably an 8-ounce glass can do the same task.”

Residents were also urged to recycle water where possible such as using containers to wash dishes. The rinse water can then be used to water plants, thereby reducing the need to collect additional tap water for such. Washing cars at this time is strongly discouraged.

Every drop saved can go towards proper hygiene for yourself or even your neighbour and [by] extension the health of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis,” Mr. Parris said.

WSD officials are closely monitoring the water supply and its storage infrastructure. Director Parris cautioned that proactive measures might be needed to protect the supply of water for daytime use.

Some citizens in the Saddlers, Dieppe Bay and Lodge areas may have already witnessed a rationing of sorts. This we are now doing voluntarily as a proactive step so that it doesn’t have to be forced upon us in the future,” the top water official stated.

Director Parris assured that “We in the Water Services Department will continue to do our best to make sure that water is in those taps for you guys and we want you as well to make sure when it gets to you, you do your best to manage it as well as you can.”