December 2, 2023

Further Update on Cayman Brac Water Situation

As our customers in Cayman Brac are aware, the Water Authority is experiencing challenges related to meeting the high demand for water. This has resulted in the Authority having difficulty meeting the needs of our trucked water customers. 

We assure our customers that all available resources are being redirected to address these challenges. As previously reported, some of these challenges include the increased dry season demand for piped and trucked water, additionally further analysis indicates that unaccounted for water on the distribution system also increased. Plus, due to the high demand, water production plants must be operated continuously with less down time for maintenance. In order to carry out maintenance to improve the production capacity of the reverse osmosis plants, the plants need to be taken offline. When a plant is offline, the volume of water in the reservoirs decreases. This means that a careful balance needs to be struck between continuing operation of the plant and taking it offline to improve production capacity. 

Further, the dry season has impacted the abstraction well of one of the RO plants, requiring very frequent maintenance that in turn affects ideal production capacity. The prefilters that treat the water from this well must be changed frequently resulting in additional downtime of the plant. This challenge will be addressed by taking actions to improve the performance of the well.

In the short-term, the Water Authority is taking several actions to increase production capacity, increase storage, locate and repair water loss on the distribution system, manage trucked deliveries, encourage conservation, and reduce overall usage. These actions will help to alleviate the current strain on the system and build up reserves for a return to normal operation. We are already seeing gradual improvements in our reserves as a result of actions already taken.

In the medium-term, the Water Authority plans to double the capacity of the main reverse osmosis plant to further increase production capacity before the end of 2023, continue water demand management, and accelerate preliminary hydrogeological investigations for the Bluff Water Works Project. These investigations are the next critical step to determine the design of the abstraction and disposal wells to develop the new reverse osmosis plant at this site. The long-term plan is to complete the construction and commissioning of this new, larger plant as part of the Bluff Water Works Project within the next 2-3 years while at the same time continuing the pipeline extension project in Cayman Brac. 

Water Authority–Cayman apologises to all its Cayman Brac customers for not currently meeting their water demands and not providing the level of service that they have come to expect. We ask both our trucked water and pipeline water customers, to continue to do their best to assist by conserving water wherever possible. Simple measures can make a big difference, such as fixing leaking faucets and cisterns, watering crops during the early morning or late evening, and using water-guzzling appliances conservatively. By taking these small steps, we can work together to help ensure that our water resources are available for everyone. Trucked water customers are encouraged to manage their storage and place orders prior to their storage supply being exhausted.

We thank our customers for their patience and understanding during this challenging time. Our dedicated team is working hard to resolve the situation, and will continue to provide updates as we progress to return to a normal state of operation in Cayman Brac. We remain committed to ensuring that our Brac community has access to safe and reliable water services.

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