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Jamaica: Water thieves drain NWC coffers annually, innovating to avoid detection

With 50 per cent of disconnected water supplies restored illegally, the National Water Commission (NWC) has become increasingly concerned about theft and its impact on revenues.

Monthly, illegal connections amount to $3.5 billion to $4 billion in losses, while electricity theft, which is among the NWC’s biggest supply costs, accounts for $550 million to $725 million per month.

Therefore, the income lost monthly from theft could pay the NWC’s energy bill at least four times.

The NWC supplies 190 million gallons of potable water each day to its more than 400,000 registered customers.

During a virtual public education forum on Wednesday, NWC Corporate Public Relations Manager Andrew Canon described customers and non-customers engaged in water theft as “ingenious”.

“It is an offence for customers and individuals to wilfully engage in any activity that is designed to deny the NWC of revenue from its services. Water theft reduces the flow of the pressure to our paying customers and communities. Persons who steal water, they have no regard for those being affected,” Canon said.

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