Parks have to wait for rain

Shayne Ramsay, Councillor, Ward 54

This refers to Denise Bailey’s letter in last week’s Atlantic Sun (“Spare a few drops for parks,” Atlantic Sun, March 29) imploring the councillor “to look into the matter of irrigating the parks”.

Indeed it is our mandate to ensure the availability of water to all the parks including the promenade which has suffered badly as a result of the lengthy drought.

A number of people have suggested that we use effluent and stormwater to water the parks, and as such I had already contacted the recreation and parks department.

Their response was that they had a discussion with the water andsanitation department to possibly install a plant to use the non-potable water along the Promenade for the parks, schools and sports facilities, etc. However, this proved to be an expensive undertaking. The parks capital team resolved that it would not be possible to connect only the parks as there is currently is no capital for this project.

Unfortunately, as a result of the drought, funding for desalinators, aquifers and reclamation sites for water augmentation is an expensive priority in terms of the allocation of funding in the proposed budget.

Hopefully, as we approach the rainy season, Mother Nature will soon come to the rescue.

JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security; and social services

Water restrictions prohibit the watering of parks with potable water and there are no alternative water sources in this area. Saving water is a shared responsibility and it is a challenge.

The City’s recreation and parks department is tasked with the upkeep of the following green spaces: 3 526 community parks, 12 district parks,

1 996 hectares of road reserves and amenities, 10 biodiversity areas, 364 greenbelts, 40 cemeteries and a nursery. Water tankers are being used to water as many trees as possible with treated effluent water. Unfortunately, the number of trees in the city and the availability of treated effluent does not allow the department to water all trees. The department is also looking at the manner and type of landscaping for parks in what is now deemed to be the “new normal” as far as water availability is concerned.