GOVERNMENT is currently in negotiation with COMPLANT International to make it the standard practice for sugar cane farmers to use treated wastewater to irrigate their fields as a means of easing pressure off the Rio Cobre Basin, which supplies the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA) -- Kingston, Spanish Town and Portmore.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Donovan Stanberry told journalists at the just-concluded Second Global Conference on Land-Ocean Connections (GLOC-2) that the ministry was planning to recycle treated effluent from the Soapberry Treatment Plant to that effect.
The move is in line with one of the areas of focus of the conference, which looked at waste water management in the context of sustainable development. It is a resource, experts said, which once it meets required standards, can make invaluable contribution to people's water needs, especially in the face of an ever reducing water supply due to the impact of climate change.
"I think that water from the treatment facility can in fact be used for things like sugar cane (of which) there is a significant amount in the Caymanas/Bernard Lodge area," Stanberry said in response to a question from the Jamaica Observer.
He explained that the decreasing levels of available water in the basin due to drought and the effects of climate change, coupled with the ballooning urban population, creates the need for alternative sources of the commodity.