31st July 2022, 02:34
Following the successful repair works to the salt water pipe supplying the Governors Cottage Reverse Osmosis Plant, the plant resumed producing potable water on Saturday evening. This water will, in the first instance, replenish stock levels at the AquaGib reservoirs.
AquaGib's Managing Director Paul Singleton told GBC the reservoirs were full to capacity (70 million litres) at the beginning of 2022, and were "not in a position we would not normally be" at this stage of the summer when the production was shut down, following the fire in the Power's Drive Tunnel this week. He said there were some reserves - 30 million litres, or 45-50% of capacity - but they weren't enough to carry us through this "freak event", especially given that people consume more water in the summer. Mr Singleton said they could "never have foreseen this level of shutdown", but agreed lessons would need to be learned.
The advice the Government has received from the technical experts at AquaGib is that, although the plant is now producing a substantial amount of water, stocks are being replenished first and this may result in a fluctuation of water flow across Gibraltar for a number of days.
This means that low water pressure may result in consumers having water for some periods and no water for others. Therefore, the Government would like to urge the public to continue to be conservative with their consumption of potable water.
Additionally, the Government says it is delighted to announce the successful delivery of over 300,000 litres of potable water from Sotogrande (Spain) which has been unloaded into the AquaGib system at Hesse’s reservoir. The Government expects that this contingency measure will continue and further increase our supplies over the coming days.
The Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Joseph Garcia said on Saturday evening: ‘I have just finished chairing, alongside His Excellency the Governor, the ninth Strategic Coordinating Group dealing with water shortage issues. The Government was briefed in detail by the technical experts at AquaGib and we are delighted that the temporary repair works to the pipe supplying the Reverse Osmosis Plant at Governor’s Cottage have been successful and that potable water is now being produced. I would like to stress, however, that although AquaGib are now producing potable water once more, they have advised the Government that this will be used to replenish stocks which means that supplies across Gibraltar will continue to fluctuate for a number of days. The Government will issue a further update tomorrow Sunday following the next meeting.’