St Kitts and Nevis ponders desalination

Caribbean dual-island state, St Kitts and Nevis’ minister of public infrastructure, Ian Liburd has revealed that the government is considering seawater desalination as one of two options for tackling water shortages on the islands that have led recently to rationing.

Liburd has been reported by local broadcaster, ZIZ News as viewing desalination as a viable option. The other option is well drilling at a site where the estimated capacity would be some 3.6 Ml/d and which the government has agreed to in principle.

There is a seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant on the island at La Valle that has been idle for years. It is understood to be mired in legal issues.

“We are aware that there is a desalination plant; a reverse osmosis plant; in the La Valle, it’s been there seven or eight years doing nothing. We know that there are issues with the National Bank and so on in terms of the property and how it’s mortgaged. we should be able to, get that plant.”

Liburd went on: “We have looked at the relocation, we have not established a cost but we have looked at the relocation of that plant moving to the Basseterre area to augment the source here in the well field as well and it is estimated that we can get approximately just over 1.5 million gallons (6 Ml/d). Once we sort out the legal issues with that plant down there at La Valle, we can bring that on stream as well.”

Liburd said the government had also included using mobile reverse osmosis plants in its discussions of a possible alternative source of water.

Drought conditions in the Caribbean are expected to persist during the first half of this year.