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UPDATE: Aqua Design Ltd blamed for VG water woes

- Gov’t says plant producing low levels of water supply
Residents of Virgin Gorda, especially those in North Sound, are crying bitterly about the current water woes on the island, claiming that it’s at an unbearable stage. It is not clear if the water shortage is as a result of contractual issues between Government and Aqua Design Ltd on Virgin Gorda. Government, stated in a GIS press release, however, that low levels of water being produced by Aqua Design Ltd is to blame for the severe water shortage. Photo: VINO/File
Reports that Government was in the process of barging water from Tortola to the sister island of Virgin Gorda were debunked by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works, Mr Anthony S. McMaster. Government has since admitted, however, that such an operation will be done. Photo: File
Reports that Government was in the process of barging water from Tortola to the sister island of Virgin Gorda were debunked by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works, Mr Anthony S. McMaster. Government has since admitted, however, that such an operation will be done. Photo: File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Low levels of water being supplied by water company, Aqua Design Ltd, is being blamed for the severe water shortage in Virgin Gorda.

This is according to a press release issued by Government Information Service (GIS) earlier today, June 24, 2015 and comes a day after this news site reported that residents on Virgin Gorda were at wits end over water woes on the sister island. The residents claimed the situation had worsened shortly after general elections.

“This is a deception, we are being deceived, water is the most important commodity and we can’t get it. The day after elections we out of water…and everyday it’s getting worse,” an outraged resident of North Sound told Virgin Islands News Online.

The affected residents had also called on Government to settle the alleged contract issues with Aqua Design Ltd and “stop punishing” the people on island, including the many tourists.

“Residents on the sister island have been experiencing interruptions since April this year, as a result of low levels being produced by the Aqua Design Water Company,” the GIS release stated.

Water supply will be restored by end of this week

According to the same release, the Ministry of Communications and Works, in collaboration with the Water and Sewerage Department, is working to ensure that the public water supply on Virgin Gorda is restored by the end of this week.

It quoted Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool as saying, "I assure you that we have been working diligently to rectify the problem at the plant and we are very close to the point of resolution."

And acting Assistant Secretary for the Ministry of Communications and Works, Mrs Margaret Jones-Greene, stated "We are reviewing the best options to get water to Virgin Gorda immediately, prior to resolving the issue with the Aqua Design Water Company."

Reports are that root of the problem is Government not renewing the contract of Aqua Design (BVI) Ltd, which is responsible for the production of water on the island.

Efforts to reach personnel from the said water company for a comment were futile.

However, Back in February 2015 Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works Mr Anthony S. McMaster had spoken to the issue of the signing of a contract for production of water on the island and at that time he had said they were expecting that all would have been well no later than April of 2015.

He had also said the contract not being renewed with Aqua design Ltd is not the problem as Government was in discussions with Aqua Design Ltd. According to Mr McMaster, Government was expecting that by the latest of April 2015, month end, water supply at Virgin Gorda would have been boosted.

This has been the opposite, however.

Water to be barged to VG from Tortola

Virgin Islands News Online had received reports that water would have to be barged to Virgin Gorda from Tortola, however, this was denied by Mr Mc Master when contacted on June 23, 2015.

It turns out, however, that our reports received were accurate as the GIS release stated that the Ministry of Communications and Works is making arrangements to have water barged from Tortola to Virgin Gorda today, Wednesday June 24, 2015 to tap up the reservoirs and provide some relief for residents on the sister island.

Director of the Water and Sewerage Department, Mrs Perline Scatliffe-Leonard, said once water is trucked to Virgin Gorda and the reservoirs are filled to a certain capacity, residents across the entire island will have access to a more regular supply of public water.

See previous article published June 23, 2015

Water woes 'unbearable' – VG Residents

- say water woes have worsened since general elections

Residents of Virgin Gorda, especially those in North Sound, are crying bitterly about the current water woes on the island, claiming that it’s at an unbearable stage.

‘Well’ runs dry after elections?

“This is a deception, we are being deceived, water is the most important commodity and we can’t get it. The day after elections we out of water…and everyday it’s getting worse,” said an outraged resident of North Sound.

The feeling of deception creeps in on residents as they said shortly after elections, on June 17, 2015, to be exact, the Government of the Virgin Islands through the Government Information Services (GIS) had circulated a notice indicating certain times of day that water would have been made a available to residents both of North Sound and Valley.

It reads, “Challenges in water production has impacted the Department's ability to distribute water to our customers. The Virgin Gorda community should note the following: Customers in The Valley are advised that the water supply will be available from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Customers in North Sound are advised that the water supply will be available between the hours of 5 a.m. and 10 a.m., and again from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.”

Both Valley and North Sound residents said the time they have since been receiving water is not in keeping with the schedule. “We can’t take this anymore, we calling on the Premier to intervene this minute and do something about this now.

“They say one time on the schedule and that’s not what is coming. They need to sign the contract with Aqua Design or whoever they have to sign with and move on and stop punishing people,” said one woman.

Several residents of North Sound said the worse has been over the past weekend as they had absolutely no water for Saturday and Sunday and yesterday Monday (June 22, 2015) it was on for a very short time.

Some had also alleged that the Government was in the process of barging water from Tortola to the sister island but, according to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works Mr Anthony S. McMaster, this is totally not true.

Are the water woes a result of contract issues?

Mr McMaster is currently off island and briefly spoke to this news site when contacted, however, what was not gathered from him were the concerns about the non-existence of a contract with a water producing company in Virgin Gorda.

Back in February 2015 Mr McMaster had spoken to the issue of the signing of a contract for production of water on the island and at that time he had said they were expecting that all would have been well no later than April of 2015.

“First and foremost, I must make it clear that all the contracts that we have signed with all the water companies there are provisions in them for how contracts are renewed to go into the future and even when we are going through the discussions for renewal…both you and I would agree that if you have a 10-year contract a lot takes place over that 10-year period so when times comes for renewal a lot of discussions take place to ensure that it is renewed in a fashion that is both comfortable to the company and to the government,” stated Mr McMaster in February 2015.

He had said the contract not being renewed is not the problem as they are in discussions with Aqua Design Ltd currently and the process is going well. “It’s interesting sometimes how people say the things that they say and I wonder if we are trying to get to amicable solutions or we are trying to create confusion, I actually have to say it that way,” said Mr McMaster.

According to Mr McMaster, they were expecting that by the latest of April 2015, month end, water supply at Virgin Gorda would have been boosted. “We would expect that by the end of April at the latest more than likely some sort of official arrangements would be in place to ensure that productivity takes place and that we are able to produce at a capacity that’s necessary for us to be able to supply all of our customers.”

Back then a prominent figure in the community had said she was specifically hurt on learning that the root of the problem was as a result of the government not renewing the contract of Aqua Design (BVI) Ltd, which is responsible for the production of water on the island.

“We heard that things will get worse, the building is not being maintained because the government hasn’t renewed Aqua Design’s contract, that’s what I understand why they (Government) treating us so bad. They haven’t renewed the contract that is why we are not getting water, sometimes two days no water, no water, water woes in Virgin Gorda,” alleged one resident back in February and when contacted this morning said, “Just what I told you that last time is just what happen. It got worse and we suffering and government covering down the issue. Benefits of a snap election I must say.”

Several attempts were made to secure confirmation from Aqua Design (BVI) Ltd to confirm whether or not allegations of their contract not being renewed were true, but all attempts failed. Efforts to reach the Director of Water and Sewerage Mrs Perline Scatliffe-Leonard, Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and works Mr Andrew St Hilaire and the responsible Minister Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool.

50 Responses to “UPDATE: Aqua Design Ltd blamed for VG water woes”

  • ann (23/06/2015, 10:17) Like (14) Dislike (4) Reply
    Dem teaching him to lie
  • chad (23/06/2015, 10:30) Like (21) Dislike (1) Reply
    It seems like Ocean Conversion is the only company that is not having problems with government, i wonder why?
  • water (23/06/2015, 10:36) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply
    This matter of water shortage is really out of hand in VG. Truth the people must be frustrated
  • VG (23/06/2015, 11:03) Like (26) Dislike (1) Reply
    With all of these dry pipes, even when we do get water its poor quality.

    Forget the runway extension, with no quality water, the rest of the VG resorts will have to close.

    NO WATER = NO TOURIST INDUSTRY.
  • VG Realist (23/06/2015, 11:08) Like (27) Dislike (1) Reply
    The water situation in Virgin Gorda is really, really bad. It's the worst I have experienced to date.
  • north sound (23/06/2015, 11:17) Like (37) Dislike (3) Reply
    perhaps if the good minister is back from addressing the world's problems in Belgium he could get us a flush toilet here at home? Or maybe they're too busy on the airport expansion so that people from all over can come to VG and experience what it's like to go without a bath........ This has gone on way too long!
  • .... (23/06/2015, 11:29) Like (27) Dislike (48) Reply
    Ndp got your all suffering good for you all
  • Ridiculous (23/06/2015, 11:32) Like (23) Dislike (0) Reply
    It went off at 3pm yesterday. If a woman had her monthly, can she time it and tell it when to flow? They need to have a heart. What if a person was ill with diahoerra, what should they do? How can they manage? It's very sickening.
  • Real Talk (23/06/2015, 11:35) Like (56) Dislike (0) Reply
    If I can't bathe, work not seeing me. I don't go no where without a bath and brush teeth.
  • Spite (23/06/2015, 11:48) Like (14) Dislike (3) Reply
    It seems like a spite.
  • Crying Shame (23/06/2015, 12:05) Like (73) Dislike (0) Reply
    To hear constituents of Virgin Gorda begging the Government for water at this day and age is ridiculous. A necessity that no one can do without. It seems like no one is taking responsibility as there is no formal response from the Minister of Communication and Works nor the Director of Water and Sewerage. Is it highly disrespectful that the people have not received a single answer as to actual problem and an answer as to the timeframe that it will be addressed. I blame we the people also because we are too proud of a people. We are too proud to take to the streets and protest or sign petitions. We just have this relaxed attidude of taking whatever the government throws out at us and just mumble and complain amongst ourselves. I just hope the good Minister hears the cries of the people and adheres to their request. To be in 2015 and have to be begging for adequate water supply is a crying shame.
    • Hellooo (23/06/2015, 13:06) Like (66) Dislike (0) Reply
      I wish I could shake your hand for this one and I totally agree. What the VG people need to do one day or more if possible, as a united front, is just not show up to work until the problem is rectified manageably. In 2015 they have to suffer this injustice and yet every week there is a party in some district thanking the people for voting in NDP. People really have their priorities mixed up. I cannot imagine going 2 days without water, how do people cook, wash, flush their toilets, properly bathe? What is the MINISTER doing about this? He fully well knows about it...where is the 9th District Rep? Where is Archie the Incredible (joke)?

      I wonder if those elected had to deal with this injustice if even for one solid day if the problems would be resolved quicker.....Oh beautiful Virgin Island, you former qualities can never be restored.....sigh.
  • oUCH (23/06/2015, 12:15) Like (21) Dislike (1) Reply
    All I have to say is: "Action speaks louder than words, don't be displeased by all those fancy talkers."
  • IT WORSE IN CARROT BAY (23/06/2015, 12:32) Like (28) Dislike (0) Reply
    This morning the water came on at 7:30am and was off by 8:15am...It has been like this for 2 weeks. We are going 23 hours out of the day without running water. IMAGINE THAT!!!!
  • Concern 1 (23/06/2015, 13:05) Like (4) Dislike (8) Reply
    The truth must be told. From my knowledge almost all the islands are experiencing a drought at this time but thanks to God for the little bit of rain and isnt it right thing when building homes a cistern to be a must in the building plan also then we ought not to complain much unless we are in the predicament of a very dry season. Waste not want not.We do waste it a lot too so we bear the penalties.
  • need (23/06/2015, 13:13) Like (5) Dislike (5) Reply
    Only God can help in situations like this. We have put God behind and think we don't need his help
    If we really get back to asking God's favour problems would be solved. Let's not blame politics, tell God about this trial and you will see rain fall from the heavens and we be thankful
  • north sound (23/06/2015, 13:21) Like (19) Dislike (0) Reply
    In certain areas of North Sound it went off Saturday after 4 pm, did not come back until Monday morning after 5:30 am, now you do the math on that. It went off promptly at 11:13 am Monday morning and as of now (1:16pm) it still has yet to return, once again do the math. Funny enough they have a schedule posted on FB about the scheduled hours of water supply, I have yet to see them actually adhere this schedule. It has gotten to a point that people have to go to the store to buy bottles of water just to brush their teeth and fill up buckets to take a bath.

    What I do not get is, if you are going to take the water off for extended periods of time, why not put the water on at reasonable times when residents are home from work so they are able to wash and fill buckets with water until the next schedule water hour(s)...is that so hard to do? does it take a rocket scientist to figure that out? YET close to the 1st of the month you will see well published disconnection notices cause heaven forbid people do not pay their water bill for the useless line rental and the 2-3 hours a day, if they are lucky, that they are able to catch the water flow.

    I sometimes wonder if this is the BVI or some Sub Saharan country. Then again even the Sub Saharan countries have wells from which to gather water...I guess we should all to go Tortola one day when One Mart has its sale and stock up on the cases of water for the inevitable days we have to endure water shortage again. This situtaion is so f**king pathetic now all one can do is simply throw their hands up to God and say "this is my BVI"

    Perhaps the worst part about this is that NO ONE is giving any real solid reason as to why this is happening, keeping the residents....refugees in the dark. This is almost like a form of civil terrorism. NO Minister, Director of W&S, District Rep answers....I just dont understand what we did as a community to deserve this type of treatment....will someone at least answer that?
    • Scary Mary (25/06/2015, 11:36) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      I suggest you take your complaints to your newly elected representative, Dr. Hubert O'Neal.

      Prior to the election, Mr. O'Neal was quoted as saying; "My love for my people and my district and my recognition of their unrealised potential keep the passion burning in my spirit.” He also stated very clearly that when it came to all the other candidates he was running against, that "actions speak louder than words".

      So I suggest you call upon your "action man" and light a fire under him to get this situation sorted out. That's what he is there for.
  • My Goodness!!!! (23/06/2015, 13:57) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well I thought I had it bad in Sea Cow's Bay!!! They love to turn off the water at the most inconvenient hours. I have elder family members who would be at home and cannot use their facilities as often as they would like, because they love to turn off the water for TIME!!! It ridiculous man! What is this little island coming to? Water is a universal resource and just by limiting it's usage you are limiting our day-to-day activities. Get it together man!
  • C..t (23/06/2015, 14:04) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    Ndp
  • Hmmmmm (23/06/2015, 14:13) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply

    So nothing good has happened since elections? Everybody crying about "ever since election......." blah blah! The water situation is shameful and didn't happen before or after the last elections. If we the people cared about this Territory as opposed to wanting to leach off Government in every conceivable way, we would be farther ahead. We only care for ourselves and therefore only realize problems and want solutions when the problem affects us directly. When the problem presents itself, unless it's affecting you, you don't give a $h*t. It's just like NHI and other issues now, you don't want it, you don't care about it because you good. But when the time comes that you need these very things, you will then start kicking up. When politicians were house to house campaigning, how many people you think talked about water, as opposed to a contract they want, they behind on something so they want money, they want a position, etc. etc. How many? We are our biggest enemies and once we continue to be selfish, short-sighted and greedy people the politicians will forever take advantage of us. I thought Biwater was the solution to the BVI problems? Many of you laughed and cheered because Investment Club/OC were being put out of business. Laugh now.

  • Dummy (23/06/2015, 16:32) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    I find the worst part of this water problem in VG and Tortola is the complete lack of respect for the voting public. We have been promised govn in the sunshine but no answers are being given. We can all understand that contract negotiations can take time, but this is not trying for a peace deal in the middle east, this is a contract extension for water. How many things are i ivolved? We had a rate for supply before and we knew when the old contract was going to expire so why was it not done before it expired? A rumour is that the delayis because biwater got their electricity paid and so aqua design want theirs paid also. If this is the point that is causing all the suffering on VG, then let us know as people cannot keep suffering like they are. Make aqua design sit in a room with whoever has the power to negotiate this contract, lock the door and open it when the deal is signed. This should be a priority for govn, they should not be going on trips or celebration tours they should take care of water. No point in asking tourists to come and visit if they cannot bathe. No point inbuilding big homes if you cannot water your plants. No point in promoting aggriculture if you cannot water crops or provide fodder for livestock. BVI SLANDERS cannot survive in a desert, we need water in our taps. We dont want to live like the people in the "care " or "save the children"adds on tv.
    A bit of news from the Ministry of (lack of ) communication andworks is needed PLEASE!!!
  • facts man (23/06/2015, 17:27) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mcmaster is not PS martrial
  • Nancy (23/06/2015, 19:27) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    And you all still voted for them eh
  • VG 1 (23/06/2015, 20:36) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    The people that representing VG lives in Tortola , so they wouldn't feel the pinch. Even when the water comes on for the few hours , some areas in North Sound still don't get water. But this sames to be what our fellow people here want. so the good have to suffer with the foolish. We never went through this with the VIP. You want to tell me at this day and age a country as such still having water problems and light problems. SMH.....Sufferation
    • @ VG 1 (23/06/2015, 21:02) Like (6) Dislike (10) Reply
      hust eat you all pain under the NDP
    • VG (25/06/2015, 07:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      It's the same in The Valley. When some places have water in the Valley have water others don't. We have NOT had water for 2 days. Big question. Does LITTLE DIX have water24/7???????
  • biwater (23/06/2015, 23:19) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Where is bertie???
    • VG 1 (24/06/2015, 06:58) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ biwater
      Just to answer your question. He is in Tortola where the rest of them are. perhaps having a nice cold shower
  • David (24/06/2015, 07:55) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply

    Hon Mark Vanterpool during the election campaign he said and I cote the people of Virgin Gorda will no longer have to worry about water that his Government have sins a new contract agreement with the water company on V G. to this day no contract is sind mark and his Government take we the people for fools they lie to much Government have not allegedly paid the water company for ten months

  • VG Resident (24/06/2015, 09:29) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply

    this is b.s i paying for a service and i aint getting no service, it's criminal

  • dry (24/06/2015, 10:48) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Water on 5AM to 10 AM and then again 2 PM to 8 PM. In what universe? Water goes out shortly after 8AM, and does not come back on until 5PM. The folks that are in charge need to come over to North Sound and spend a week or so here to see what it is like instead of being fat cats in Tortola. Don't forget sometimes not only no water but no power either.
  • VG Resident (24/06/2015, 14:38) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    The NDP need to sign the contract with Aqua Design so that they could upgrade the water plants in VG. From what I was told, the Company want to investest money in the needed upgrades but wouldn't unless Government renews the contract for them to supply the water. My take is that the NDP Government is looking at what was done with Bi-water and don't want to sign the contract with another foreign company when the Investment Club owned Ocean Conversion could be given the contract to build and operate new plants in Virgin Gorda. The NDP Government need to stop their nonsense and sign the contract with Aqua design so that they could upgrade their plant to get water to the people. Virgin Gordians cannot wait for Ocean Conversation to build new plants on VG. This will take years. Are you telling me that the NDP Government would rather see the people continue to suffer just to give Ocean Conversion a contract? Now now.....
  • Two Devils (24/06/2015, 17:52) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    That`s how bad VIP is--People know NDP is no good, but we chose the worst of the two Devils. Investment club is NDP and NDP is investment club--ocean conversion is who?
  • @@@@@ (24/06/2015, 18:05) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Vino is always right!
  • S.R. (24/06/2015, 18:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why voters can you not see the truth in politics? Of course the NDP will be doing the airport, water where they want these flying in in direct jets to be staying is no big deal. Just get them here, no sewers, no roads, no water, who needs that!!! Dismantle the extra plants on Tortola and reassemble on V.G. ??????
  • SMH (24/06/2015, 18:53) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    I have a feeling the NDP wants OC to take over VG now aint that some BS next thing you know Skelton will be calling for CCT to receive preferential treatment. Oh wait my bad that done happened last term.
  • Virgie (24/06/2015, 19:18) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply

    Take it or leave it he is doing the minister d**ty works.

  • Boo (24/06/2015, 21:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Look like a cat need belling
  • Boo (24/06/2015, 22:53) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    look how the NDP tryng to fore out every body to keep dem conflic of interst
  • sense (25/06/2015, 08:42) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    You did not want VIP because you were made promises by the NDP. Your former rep left this mess for you. He was agreeing with the NDP in the last house and not supporting the views of the VIP of which he was a part. Now you have given them the mandate and they are showing their true colors. Watch how they are trying to deal with the press. Notice everything is coming from China now. It might not be long before we have to follow all the rules the Chinese people have to follow. Everything has a beginning.
    • Yes (25/06/2015, 10:30) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      The asphalt plant from china hasn't worked for a good week yet.
      • HMP (25/06/2015, 19:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        That asphalt plant was a big joke and waste of money. Which equipment you all see doing the work? More money wasted than traffic lights around a round about.
  • so right (25/06/2015, 11:50) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    I wonder if some of you who were driving in the NDP motorcade in Virgin Gorda had a bath that day? Also those that came down to the swearing in ceremony did you bath that morning. The Multi Purpose Complex was smelling stink from corruption, greed, and the sulfur from Lucifer. NDP supporters stop complaining you got what you voted for.
  • Curious (25/06/2015, 15:45) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Is it affection Virgin Gorda's full population, or just partial?

    Just curious.


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