Statia places waterlines at Zeelandia to secure sustainable water for farmers
Waterlines which draw water from the wells are currently being placed in the Zeelandia area to supply farmers with sustainable water. Two wells, the ‘Spout and the Monroe’ well, will be used primarily for animal husbandry and farmers.
Farmers who want access to the water supply, must be registered at the agricultural desk and also at the Chamber of Commerce.
Hobby farmers are not allowed to access the water supply. This is an effort to continue the process of professionalizing the agriculture practices.
Each distribution line will be equipped with a meter to monitor how much water is being used and to also calculate the collection charges. The farmers will be able to utilize the water when these water meters are installed.
Seeing the importance of developing the agriculture sector, the Public Entity St. Eustatius has given its commitment to finding short term as well as structural solutions for the water shortage. The actions taken in the Zeelandia area will increase the availability and quality of water. However, further actions are needed for a long term solution to manage the drought.
Statia has been plagued with extensive drought throughout its history. Having no natural fresh water source on the island has compounded to this problem. The total amount of water (m³) produced on the island is far less than the domestic and non-domestic demand. Not only water shortage is an issue, also the quality of the water sources is in many cases classified as non-potable water and is thus not suitable for drinking. The ground water contains a high level of salinity and nutrients (brackish).
The vision of the Directorate of Economy, Nature and Infrastructure (ENI) is to create amongst others sustainable agriculture. “To further develop and stimulate sustainable agriculture is merely impossible without adequate water supply”, says Anthony Reid, the director of ENI. In 2020, ENI compiled a plan of approach to implement short-term to medium-term solutions. A longer term solution is incorporated in the draft European Union multiannual indicative program.