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In 2007 total water withdrawal was estimated at 812 million m3 of which 448 million m3 (55 percent) for agriculture, 288 million m3 (35 percent) for municipalities and 76 million m3 (10 percent) for industries (Figure 2 and Table 3). In addition, it is said that around 903 million m3/year needs to be reserved for the environment.
In 1993, about 92 percent of the water was withdrawn from groundwater sources and the remainder from surface water (Figure 3). However, use of groundwater for irrigation has high operation costs, and many irrigation well fields on the south coast have high salinity issues. Surface water is therefore imported from the Yallahs river of the Blue Mountain South basin to meet the domestic demands of the Kingston Metropolitan Area. The alluvial and limestone aquifers are widely tapped for irrigation supply.
The maximum agricultural water demands are in the Rio Cobre and Rio Minho basins, which account for about 71 percent and 89 percent of the total demand in these basins.