Margit Eggebrecht, a German trainee studying at the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands presented her preliminary findings of a study conducted for the Caribbean Water Association (CWA). Ms. Eggebrecht was charged with reviewing the different water distribution networks and calculating the International Leakage Index (ILI) factors for the water companies of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba.
The International Leakage Index (ILI) is a measure of how well a distribution network is managed (maintained, repaired, and rehabilitated) for the control of real losses, at the current operating pressure. Although some preliminary figures were given a lot of data is still missing to make a fair comparison between the islands.
The Caribbean Water Association (CWA) Distribution Committee convened here on St. Maarten to discuss the measurement and reduction of water losses on the islands of Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire and St. Maarten. The GEBE contingent consisted of Managing Director ir. William Brooks, Distribution Manager Emmanuel Brooks, Chief Operations Paul Marshall, and Ramiro Hernandez of the Operations Department. They were accompanied by Boei Marchena, CWA Research & Development, and Daniel Corsen of Aqualectra.
Through the Caribbean Water Association, formally known as the Water Platform of the Netherlands Antilles, the utility companies of the Dutch Islands achieve economies of scale that are difficult to achieve on their own to find innovative solutions to water related problems. This research project which is usually expensive was split over the four participating companies making it more cost effective for each participant.
GEBE Managing Director, William Brooks, explained the benefits of being a member of the CWA: "We are all in the same position as water companies in the Caribbean. We have the responsibility to provide cost effective and quality drinking water to our communities. So it is only logical that we continue to work together to achieve these common goals by doing joint research, investigating new technologies and investing in joint training. Together we are able to achieve cost savings, economies of scale and share a wealth of expertise."
Since 2004 GEBE has been a member of the association, cooperating and sharing information on a number of water related issues including water quality, water production processes, water safety and security, human resource development and training, Legionnaires disease, and public relations. GEBE has taken an active role in the association benefiting from the economies of scale, joint research and training. With the transition of Saba and Statia to the BES islands, the relations with Dutch water companies for drinking water quality standards has been very useful. Further, with GEBE developing the waste water treatment on St. Maarten, the input of knowledge and expertise from within the association and its partners is advantageous.