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Waterworks aims to meet demand

Bermuda Waterworks CEO Allan Rance at the company’s Devonshire headquarters (File photograph)

Piped water supplies will cope with demand over the Covid-19 crisis, the island’s biggest provider predicted yesterday.Allan Rance, the chief executive officer of Bermuda Waterworks, which distributes Watlington Water through an underground network, said that fluctuations in usage between residents and businesses could offset each other.He said: “We haven’t seen a significant change in the demand for our pipe supply at this time, bearing in mind that it’s very possible that local residents are using more but, of course, our hotels and restaurants are probably using less now, so overall we are not seeing, and we really do not expect to see, any substantial change in demand for water from our piped water supply.”He added the firm had seen an upturn in demand for bottled water.Mr Rance said “We have experienced similar trends as the grocery stores are seeing.“There has definitely been an uptick in people coming to purchase water through our drive through and vending machine and people calling to order.”Mr Rance added: “We can accommodate those persons who feel they need to get more but like the grocery stores we do not feel that supplies are anything to panic over.“We are continuing operations as an essential service.“We will continue to produce and distribute water to the best of our abilities. That may change as the situation changes.“We will do our best to maintain supplies as best we can.”He said that staffing levels at the firm had not changed “yet”.But Mr Rance added: “Obviously there are businesses in Hamilton that are closing down so we are seeing less requirements to deliver water to offices in Hamilton so we’re looking to redistribute some of our resources in terms of making arrangements with people who wish to have water delivered to their homes.“We can leave it on your front porch.”Mr Rance said: “We’re trying to practise social distancing and at the same time do what we have to do to keep the water going.“We have briefed all of our staff and I think they’re quite conscious of the practices they should be following.“Inevitably, in something like this we have got to hope that it works out well for us and that everybody stays well.”