On October 9th the Executive Council of Saba raised the subsidy on potable water from $20 per 1000 gallons to $40 per 1000 gallons. The reason behind this decision is based on figures that were provided to the Executive Council by both water producers which indicated that the water production was still below the maximum production capacity of the water plants.
The initial subsidy($20 per 1000 gallons), which went into effect on August 24th was based on maximum production of the two water producers which is 36,000 gallons per day or 1,080,000 gallons per month because both producers indicated that they were producing at or near their maximum capacity . At this production level the subsidy would have lasted for 169 days or approximately six months from the time of its initiation. When the first’s months readings were taken it could be seen that production was below the maximum capacity, with both plants producing at a combined average of 53.8 per cent of capacity. With these figures the Executive Council determined that subsidy would last much longer than was first expected and therefore decided to increase the subsidy to the higher amount going forward.
The Executive Council believes that the initial subsidy amount was based on responsible decision making. When considering the subsidy, there was insufficient data available to estimate demand for water, particularly in light of the persistence and severity of the drought. Because of this it was necessary to be conservative with the amount of the subsidy.
The Executive Council stated, “We don’t have any guarantees that new funds will be available to keep the subsidy going after the current grant we received from the Ministry of I&M will be depleted, so we have to be careful not to spend the grant too fast. We do see the people suffer from this drought, so we’re trying to do as much as possible to alleviate the burden. The subsidy will stay in place as long as the drought continues, or until the funds are depleted.”
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