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Water use

In 2004, the total water withdrawal is estimated at 16.6 million m3 and in 2010 at around 20 million m3 (Table 3). Total municipal water withdrawal is estimated at around 19 million m3 in 2010 (Figure 1). Most water withdrawn is surface water and the Dominica Water and Sewerage Company (DOWASCO) produces approximately 45 million l/day (16.4 million m3/year) of drinking water from about 47 independent river intakes. The largest of the water systems has a supply capacity of over 16.3 million l/day, for the capital Roseau and its environs. This system serves a population of about 25 000 people. Two other systems have a supply capacity of about 5.3 million l/day, whilst the other systems are much smaller serving communities with populations usually less than 1 000. These supply systems are generally more than adequate to satisfy the demands of the communities. However, at some periods during the dry season, intermittent shortages can be experienced in a few of the systems.

DOWASCO currently serves 16 000 customer connections, which represents a population of about 50 000 or about 63 percent of the island population. In addition to these connections, 590 standpipes have been installed throughout the islands water networks extending water supply coverage to all major communities with population in excess of 200 people. The total DOWASCO coverage is estimated at over 90 percent of the total population.

In remote areas, rainwater harvesting is practiced by individual households and institutions. Some small communities with less than 200 persons that are not served by DOWASCO are serviced through small water supply systems built by non-governmental organizations (IWCAM, 2011).

Agriculture uses surface water abstracted directly from rivers. Based on area equipped for irrigation, it is estimated at around 1 million m3 in 2010.


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