30-day prison sentence a likelihood for breaching water restrictions
The National Water Commission (NWC) has warned that effective from Friday, May 24, anyone who lives in an area affected by drought could find themselves in serious trouble with the law if they are caught using water from pipes for plants or other duties not considered basic use.
The warning was issued in a public notice released by the water company in light of the ongoing drought affecting the island.
"Under regulation 14 of the National Water Commission (Water supply services) rates and charges,) regulations 1985, whereas the National Water Commission has declared that due to the deficiency in the supply of water owing to a drought affecting sections of the island of Jamaica, more stringent water conservation measures must now be observed," the notice outlined.
"The National Water Commission hereby gives notice that with effect from the 24th day of May 2019 or four days after the publication of this notice, whichever is later, the National Water Commission absolutely prohibits in all areas of the island of Jamaica served by drought-affected water supply systems, the use of water supplied by or obtained through pipes of the commission for:
- Irrigation of and the watering of plants of gardens, lawns, grounds and farms
- Refilling or supplying of tanks, ponds or swimming pools and/or for use other than normal domestic services such as drinking, cooking, washing, bathing and sanitation;
- Washing vehicles by the use of a hose;
- Watering or washing of roadways, pavements, paths, garages or out rooms;
- Any purpose which may require the use of a considerable or excessive quantity of water.
The notice said, “Further, this prohibition shall remain in effect until further notice, and while the prohibition is in effect, no person shall use or cause or permit to be used, any water supply obtained from the pipes of the commission for any purpose specified in the notice.
”Any person who contravenes this (notice) may be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction before a resident magistrate (parish judge) to a fine, and in default of payment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 days.”