Parbel Enterprises, under the leadership of Managing Director Parry Bellot, has made a proposal to the government of Dominica and the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) for funding to export bulk water from Dominica to other countries in the region.
Bellot said at a press conference at the Fort Young Hotel on Tuesday, that the first proposal was made to the government in March 2012 for feasibility funding and later circulated to the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) among other organizations, while the most recent proposal was made to the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) on May 27th, 2016.
“Basically we have made a proposal, a proposal that’s outstanding now for three or four years on how Dominica can get serious on taking the initiative of supplying bulk water,” he said.
According to Bellot, plastic bottle, used for exporting water, poses a problem and it’s much more expensive .
“The solution is what we call bulk water; ship it in very large containers or shipping it on a tanker especially designed to carry water,” he stated. “It could be by boat using the containers or a special tanker.”
Bellot said he will be interested in collaborating with other organizations that are willing to come on board.
The idea of exporting bulk water from Dominica is not new. Executive Director of Sisserou Water Inc, Atherton Martin, who has embarked on a similar project told Dominica News Online (DNO) on Wednesday that exporting water from Dominica should be the country’s top priority.
According to Martin, there is enough water in Dominica to satisfy the needs of several islands but a critical hurdle is the storing of the water in countries receiving it.
He revealed that his company has a few destination markets in mind, however, none of the islands have the capacity to receive and store water.
“The challenge that is being addressed by the destination markets is that they are putting in the capacity to receive and store the water,” he explained. “None of them have the capacity to do that now.”
Martin said Anguilla and Tortola are two countries selected by his company since they have a great water deficit.
“There are other countries in water deficit as well: Antigua, St Kitts, most of the countries north of us but increasingly also countries to the south of us are also in water deficit, like St Lucia, parts of St Vincent.,” Martin said. “Our first target is the islands north because they are in much more severe- they tend to be dryer.”
He stated that his company has been working with and convincing governments in the region, as well as private interests, on the project.
He is of the opinion that Dominica should build water storage capacities in islands in need of water.
“If water is our product for which there is demand, Dominica should build storage in countries in the region to receive Dominica water,” he stated. “It is quite possible for even Dominica to go to Anguilla and say look, we have water, you need water but you don’t have a place to put it, we will invest in building storage facilities which you can eventually take over if you wish…but we can help you to build that now.”
He said that there is room for a partnership to allow the project to be more effective.
Sisserou Water Inc Atherton Martin was granted a license by the government in November 2009 to export billions of gallons of Dominica’s water over a 10-year period.