83.9 F
Charlotte Amalie
Friday, September 22, 2023
HomeNewsLocal governmentWAPA Meets with FEMA, Local Stakeholders to Discuss Master Plan for Water...

WAPA Meets with FEMA, Local Stakeholders to Discuss Master Plan for Water Distribution System

Don Gregoire, director of Water Distribution at the WAPA, attends a workshop last week to discuss prudent replacement projects with FEMA and local stakeholders on St. Croix. (Submitted photo)

The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (Authority or WAPA) concluded a two-week long workshop last week with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other local stakeholders, at which key components of the prudent replacement for St. Croix’s potable water system were discussed.

In mid-2022, FEMA approved grant funding to replace St. Croix’s entire underground potable water distribution system and provided the Authority with a $30M sub-award to contract master planning and conceptual design. Much of St. Croix’s water distribution network consists of outdated pipes that result in frequent water disruptions to many of the island’s communities.

Based on FEMA-approved codes, a hydraulic model was built. A hydraulic model can be used to determine which aspects of the current system do not meet industry standards and need replacement.

As part of the project’s master planning, which is slated for completion in early 2024, attendees visited all WAPA’s pump stations and storage tank sites. Carollo Engineers, an environmental engineering firm, began collecting data that will be plugged into the hydraulic model to help ensure accuracy.

“One of the primary purposes of the recent workshop was to initiate discussions on the prioritization and execution of projects,” said Don Gregoire, director of water distribution at the Authority. “A critical piece of the master plan is to include SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) as part of the infrastructure, which will provide data in real time, such as pump run times, power usage, pressure and flow data that can optimize operational efficiency and reduce overhead costs.”

The stakeholders involved included Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA), the Department of Agriculture (DOA), VI Economic Development Authority (VIEDA), VI Fire Service and VI Housing Authority, which provided feedback on current and future development plans that will impact water distribution system demands. Feedback from these agencies is crucial because it helps ensure the new water distribution system is accurately sized to accommodate the future needs of the island.

The agreed upon timeline for completion of the development of the scope and cost of the system replacement is the end of August 2023.

The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority Communication Department is committed to reaching, informing and connecting with the youngest members of the community to the eldest through meaningful, transparent and effective communication.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.