The Water Resources Authority is the agency with the legal mandate to “ regulate, allocate, conserve and otherwise manage the water resources of Jamaica”. Its responsibility includes;
- maintaining a water resources information system
- exercise planning in relation to the Master Plan and Water Quality Control Plans
- allocate water resources
- control the quality of water resources
- provide technical support relating to the development, conservation and use of water resources to agencies of government
- perform functions relating to water resources management as may be assigned by other enactments.
The performance of the Water Resources Authority will be assessed by the extent to which initiatives and recommendations are presented in a timely fashion, are thoroughly researched and contribute to the following: -
- The sustainability of yield of acceptable water quality in river basins
- Timely predictions of hydrological drought
- The accurate identification of water resources
- The establishment of appropriate mechanisms for the provision of water
- The processing of permits within 60 days of application
- A reduction in conflict among users for resources
- The development of hydrologic data bases and timely publication of hydrologic data
- The preparation of financial reports, technical reports and bulletins
- Timely and accurate advice to public and private agencies
Structure Of Corporate Plan
The Corporate plan for the period 2006 - 2009 is conceived into programmes, as mandated by the Water Resources Act 1995.The programmes and their objectives are listed below: -
|Water resources monitoring and information systems management. (A.1)||To provide the database for assessing the quantity, quality and variations in time and space of the surface and ground water resources.|
|Water resources assessment, planning, design and operational support. (A.2)||To assess the potential for water related developments and the resource capacity to meet present and future demands as well as the continuous updating of the National Water Resources Master Plan.|
|Water resources allocation, regulation and control. (A.3)||To support assessment of environmental, social and economic impacts of water management practices and adoption of policies and strategies to minimize negative impacts.|
|Capacity-Institutional building. (A.4)||To enhance technical and human resources capacity and institutional building to enable more effective and efficient water resources management.|
|Public awareness/Public education. (A.5)||To raise the public’s awareness/education level on critical issues relating to water resources protection, conservation and sustainable development.|
|Hydrological prediction and forecasting (A.6)||To provide security for people and property against water related hazards such as floods and droughts.|
The components of each programme are shown listed in the attached tables. The components include both routine monitoring and special investigations carried out with support from the Recurrent Budget as well as special projects/water resources assessments, which will be supported under the Capital “A” and “B” Budgets.The Water Resources Act 1995, Section 4 (3), mandates Components A.1.1 to A.1.6. These are the core functions of the Authority and consist primarily of the monitoring, collating and dissemination of hydrologic data.
Component A.1.5 is a continuous upgrade and maintenance of the Water Resources Management Information System (WRMIS), inclusive of hardware and software. This will include the development of databases and the procurement of computers and printers to upgrade the system and to enable the printing/publishing and dissemination of information. Component A.1.6 is a Capital “A” project that is intended to improve the data collection system. This component is critical to the assessment of water resources, the determination of availability and the guiding of investments within the sector. The objective is to install upgrade the river gauging stations that are now manually read to data loggers that will yield more continuous, reliable and accurate data; repair a number of recording stations that has been damaged by flood rains and install at least 14 rainfall intensity gauges prioritising those areas that are flood prone such as Newmarket, New River, Cave Valley, Great Bay, Porus, Harmons, Rio Grande Valley and Moneague.
Component A.2.1 is to provide technical support to Government and other public and private sector agencies in water resources and related assessments. This is in keeping with Section 4(e) of the Water Resources Act 1995.Component 2.2 will provide the documentation that will ensure the operational procedures of the organization are known and executed by all members of staff.Components A.3.1 to A.3.5 are intended to strengthen the allocation, regulation and control of the islands water resources.A.3.1 is intended to improve the control of abstraction and bring in revenue to the Authority. Surface water abstractors, who previously did not require a licence, and groundwater abstractors without a licence will be the primary target. Component A.3.5 is a Capital “A” project that will provide information on the impact of the sugar/rum industry on water resources and the development of mitigating strategies to protect water resources quality.
Components A.4.1 and A.4.2 are intended to increase the technical and human resources capacity of the Authority as well as Institutional Building.A.4.1 and A.4.2 will be funded where possible through international agencies. However some funding will be required form the recurrent budget.Components A.5.1 and A.5.4 are intended to increase the public’s awareness of water resources issues such as conservation, protection and the economic value of water.A.5.1 will allow for the commemoration of special water days such as the World Water Day and Inter-American Water Day on March 22 and the first Saturday in October of each year respectively.
A.5.2 will see the WRA publishing the hydrological data that is in house after analysis. This data will assist the water sector to plan and execute projects with a higher degree of confidence.A.5.4 is a capital “A” project that will target the schools and teachers specifically to increase awareness of water resources issues. The project will be executed through a series of workshops and in conjunction with a local NGO.Component A.6.1 is a capital “A” project that is intended to provide an early warning system for flooding in the upper Rio Cobre River basin and to reduce the impact of flooding on life and property. This system has been in operation for over 10 years and is now in need of upgrade to return to its efficient level of operation.