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Thread: Entire Island Water Problems

  1. #1
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 9,187

    Entire Island Water Problems

    I am surprised this hasn’t been discussed on the Forum in more detail. David at Santa Fe told us this afternoon he has no water available from the plant during the day. He hopefully fills up his cistern each night when the demand is low. I asked him- ‘What if the cistern doesn’t completely fill up?’ He said ‘ I close- trucking it in is too expensive.’
    In Pte. Milou our villa is only using the cistern and our showers etc. need to be short. We were told- ‘ ‘Don’t worry- it can be delivered by water truck.’
    Christpher, Toiny and who knows how many others are apparently receiving multiple water truck supplies throughout each day. As tourists, this is only what we are aware of.
    We understand the desalination plant is down in capacity due to waiting for parts, which apparently has been a months long wait.
    We sense no water issues but from locals we talk to, the situation is precarious.

  2. #2
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 5,639

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    Precarious . . . interesting. What does that mean?

  3. #3
    alachick is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Dec 2012 montgomery al. Posts: 141

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by cec1 View Post
    Precarious . . . interesting. What does that mean?
    Google it

  4. #4
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 5,639

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by alachick View Post
    Google it
    not securely held or in position; dangerously likely to fall or collapse.”

    Thank you, alachick, for this opening. I don’t believe — having Googled “precarious,” as you suggested— that the situation ‘is in a position [that is] dangerously likely to fall or collapse.” Do you? If so, please explain.

  5. #5
    KevinS is online now
    Senior Insider Joined: Jul 2003 Boston Posts: 20,211

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    At one point last year, a local resident who I know told me me that she had not had water at home for two weeks. Nothing to drink, nothing to flush, nothing to shower with. That's precarious at best, or perhaps, at worst, past the point of collapse for that resident at that time.

    So, build another hotel with 50 bedrooms on St Jean (hey, it's close to the desal plant, so they'll get plenty of water), and would you like individual plunge pools with that? 24 buildings at Autour? No problem. 10 rooms in Lurin, sure, go right ahead. A 16 BR villa/villas in St Jean? Why not, there's plenty of water and electricity.

    Until there's not.

    There's no way that the local resident who I was speaking with could afford a truckload of water from the desalinization plant. If she could, that would be a truckload of water drawn out of the system at the desal plant, and not available to other water users farther out in the distribution network. Which is exactly what the mentioned hotels are doing, jumping to the head of the line, and taking water out of the system at the source.

  6. #6
    alachick is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Dec 2012 montgomery al. Posts: 141

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by cec1 View Post
    not securely held or in position; dangerously likely to fall or collapse.”

    Thank you, alachick, for this opening. I don’t believe — having Googled “precarious,” as you suggested— that the situation ‘is in a position [that is] dangerously likely to fall or collapse.” Do you? If so, please explain.
    Kevin handled it succinctly

  7. #7
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 43,748

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    Hey Dennis- what are you doing for water?


    Andy

  8. #8
    Jim A is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2017 NY Posts: 424

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    From someone who knows nothing about this other than what I have read here recently and nothing about the overall water situation other than what I read after Irma, I agree with Hopper's point. After reading what he has been "reporting" and hearing from various hotels/businesses it does indeed sound like something I would have expected to have heard more of already. Since I have yet to see it really disputed I assume it is accurate and hope that it is only due to needing a part at the plant otherwise IMHO it does seem to be an ominous sign. I also agree with Kevin's point. So if someone with the means and desire to order a truckload of water (same for a new or expanded hotel) does indeed do so, it just means someone else will get less because it's not like that water truck is coming from some other Island.

  9. #9
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 5,639

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by andynap View Post
    Hey Dennis- what are you doing for water?
    We're getting "city" water . . . the situation described is a surprise to me, without a sense of being precarious.

  10. #10
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 43,748

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by cec1 View Post
    We're getting "city" water . . . the situation described is a surprise to me, without a sense of being precarious.
    The boy who cried wolf- not you Dennis


    Andy

  11. #11
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 5,639

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinS View Post
    At one point last year, a local resident who I know told me me that she had not had water at home for two weeks. Nothing to drink, nothing to flush, nothing to shower with. That's precarious at best, or perhaps, at worst, past the point of collapse for that resident at that time.

    So, build another hotel with 50 bedrooms on St Jean (hey, it's close to the desal plant, so they'll get plenty of water), and would you like individual plunge pools with that? 24 buildings at Autour? No problem. 10 rooms in Lurin, sure, go right ahead. A 16 BR villa/villas in St Jean? Why not, there's plenty of water and electricity.

    Until there's not.

    There's no way that the local resident who I was speaking with could afford a truckload of water from the desalinization plant. If she could, that would be a truckload of water drawn out of the system at the desal plant, and not available to other water users farther out in the distribution network. Which is exactly what the mentioned hotels are doing, jumping to the head of the line, and taking water out of the system at the source.
    Kevin . . . in responding, I'm not intending to disagree with you about the matter of additional construction -- more hotel rooms and giant villas don't seem to make sense for many reasons. With respect to water & electricity, however, I have been told that at least several -- maybe more -- of the large "resort" hotels have their own desal facilities and electric generators. They, of course, present other environmental issues.

  12. #12
    KevinS is online now
    Senior Insider Joined: Jul 2003 Boston Posts: 20,211

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    Dennis, you and I, sitting face to face, will rarely disagree. I look forward to the next time when we can share a table.

  13. #13
    julianne is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2003 CT Posts: 3,112

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    Years ago, prior to the installation of the desalination plant, we had to have a water truck daily deliver water during an extended dry spell. At the time, we were staying at s at a villa in Pt. Milou. I think properties away from the main road are particularly at risk of running out of water. The desalination plant was supposed to solve the problem and it certainly helped. But if it is going to take a long time to get replacement parts, one can only wonder why. I am no expert but I hope they consider creating an inventory of spare parts. And you are correct, Kevin, the plans to build more hotels and large villas will only exacerbate the issue.

  14. #14
    KevinS is online now
    Senior Insider Joined: Jul 2003 Boston Posts: 20,211

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    Julianne, my pre-retirement experience was that supply houses only keep the most common spare parts "on the shelf", and that manufacturers rarely keep more. Given the up-time requirements of my former job, I stocked tens of thousands of dollars in a personal inventory of spare patrt. When one was necessary, as small as a 20-cent fuse, they were invaluable.

  15. #15
    julianne is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2003 CT Posts: 3,112

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    Spot-on, Kevin—-When an island is so dependent on a desalination plant, one would hope the authorities would consider taking the same prudent steps, despite the cost.

  16. #16
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 9,187

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    Last night at the Superbowl party at Santa Fe, David Mouton told us that Lurin, including Santa Fe, hasn’t received water for the past 5 days. He was debating closing or losing money and purchasing trucks of water.
    David told us the powers that be have made Gustavia and St. Jean the priority.
    Here in Pte. Milou we see our cistern going down daily ie no water being supplied and we are trying our best to conserve. We have been assured by the villa manager that
    water trucks will be ordered and we will never run out.
    My guess is that the residents outside of Gustavia can not afford to have trucks deliver their water.
    Why would the island want to report this news. We were told by a ‘local’ the engine part needed by the desalination plant that was ordered months ago is still sitting on the docks in France due to the yellow shirt support.
    You can call it ‘crying wolf’ but when Santa Fe tells us he may have to shut down due to no water, and the diners at Jarad, we understand are looking at an empty pool?, it strikes us as at least a serious matter.

  17. #17
    Jim A is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2017 NY Posts: 424

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    Definitely does not sound like "crying wolf" to me unless you are getting bad info from the residents and business owners that you are speaking to. Hopefully the part arrives if that is indeed the issue and/or a nice rain comes through (preferably at night to not disturb everyone's beach time) and at least helps some out for a little while

  18. #18
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 43,748

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    Lorient is getting water - see Cec1 post- so the entire island is not having problems. Always a dire message. And since I will be in Lorient this week the correct info is appreciated.
    Correction- Dennis is in Marigot.


    Andy

  19. #19
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 43,748

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    I just heard from residents in Lorient, Lurin and Vitet- they all have water


    Andy

  20. #20
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 5,639

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    I know that some will accuse me of gross insensitivity to the issue . . . and apologies to all whom I offend. Nonetheless, I feel compelled to share lyrics from a scene in the Jimmy Buffett musical, “Don’t Stop the Carnival:”

    Folks, Gull Reef regrets the water shortage
    Wild night out there!
    Water in the sea, water from the sky, no water in the Club
    But while the pump gets repaired, let's live!
    If the water can't flow, the wine can!
    Champagne party in the lobby!

    Champagne si', agua no
    Let it rain, let it blow
    To hell with the H2O
    Champagne si', agua no

    The Gull Reef Club's not too ship shape
    Time for a party time for a break
    Tonight all our troubles will soon disappear
    Cause champagne is cheaper than water down here

    Champagne si', agua no
    Champagne si', agua no

    A toast to the French who gave us these bubbles
    A toast to your host who stands in this rubble
    Running this hotel is no piece of cake
    So cut me some slack people give me a break

    Champagne si', agua no
    Champagne si',agua no

    . . . the song has special resonance for Wendy & me because a pump was “lost” in our first week of owning The Normandie, and while we generously offered bottles of water, nightly champagne & wine parties gave greatest comfort to our guests!

  21. #21
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 43,748

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    I would rather see the lyrics than hear JB sing them. No offense meant.


    Andy

  22. #22
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 5,639

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by andynap View Post
    I would rather see the lyrics than hear JB sing them. No offense meant.
    LOL!

  23. #23
    elgreaux is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2003 Saint Barth Posts: 10,443

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    where do the trucks get the water? what happens when that runs out?

  24. #24
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 9,187

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    We all have to drink, swim and bathe in Rose- preferably Ott!

  25. #25
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 9,187

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    In our early morning walk this morning, we had a good talk with a member of the Hotel Christopher staff . The person told us they have no water problems as long as the trucks can continue to supply when needed.

  26. #26
    Hawke is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2011 Posts: 881

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by elgreaux View Post
    where do the trucks get the water? what happens when that runs out?
    Also from another thread. It takes a lot of water to make a sheet of paper. Maybe not a good idea to start building the paper factory.

  27. #27
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 9,187

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    The island is back in business water wise. Everything is fixed. We were told Toiny is the end of the line. Areas before them will be filling up their cisterns and according to Toiny residents, it will therefore take several days still for the water to get to them.

  28. #28
    cassidain is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Ailleurs Posts: 6,453

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by stbartshopper View Post
    The island is back in business water wise. Everything is fixed. We were told Toiny is the end of the line. Areas before them will be filling up their cisterns and according to Toiny residents, it will therefore take several days still for the water to get to them.
    Do people fill their cisterns with city water? Or just rain water?
    Fils du Sud - Ministre de la Santé

    If I can't wear my Havaianas, I ain't goin'...ÀMHA

  29. #29
    KevinS is online now
    Senior Insider Joined: Jul 2003 Boston Posts: 20,211

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by cassidain View Post
    Do people fill their cisterns with city water? Or just rain water?
    Yes, both. Rain water is free, and the preferred way to fill cisterns. When rain water is insufficient, then city water becomes the less-preferred source. When city water is unavailable then trucks become the only remaining source, unless you want to pour liters of bottled water into your cistern. Trucks get their water at the desal plant, so every truckload of water delivered to a hotel/villa is a truckload which is removed from the normal public distribution system.

  30. #30
    Voosh is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2007 Detroit Posts: 13,127

    Re: Entire Island Water Problems

    I hate to do this, but... Mike_R said something like - "Here it comes..."
    Yeah, Yeah - IMHO

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