About NWC

The NWC supplies 190 million gallons of potable water each day to its more than 400,000 registered accounts representing about 2 million persons across Jamaica. Within the last five decades, the growth of the industrial sector added to the establishment of several new residential communities in various sections of St. Andrew, St. Catherine and many other parishes across Jamaica, has led to the increased demand for potable water.

Over the years, the NWC has increased its emphasis on customer service by increasing the number of customer service centres and payment facilities islandwide, the modernization of commercial offices, the use of significantly enhanced information technology, and through training activities for various employees in customer relations. Efforts are also continuing to minimize complaints by customers in relation to the various areas of service delivery by the NWC.

In recognition of the need for further improvements in operations and service delivery, the National Water Commission has embarked on an ambitious Transformation Programme tied to the Vision of becoming the # 1 water services utility in the Caribbean and Latin America by 2020 and in seeking to fulfill the Mission of contributing positively to national development by providing high quality potable water and sewerage services to residents and businesses through a competent and motivated team in a cost effective and sustainable manner.

History

Governed by The National Water Commission Act (1980), The National Water Commission (NWC) was formally established in 1980 through the amalgamation of the Kingston and St. Andrew Water Commission and the rurally focused, National Water Authority. This amalgamation resulted in the merging of some major systems islandwide under one authority.

From as early as 1766, Roger Hope Elleston, owner of The Hope Estate, constructed an open aqueduct to carry surplus water from his property to the then town of Kingston. The system fell into a state of disrepair and its operation was eventually discontinued in 1777.

One of the first ever piped water supply systems in the Western Hemisphere originated in Jamaica, in the town of Falmouth, Trelawny. With the Martha Brae River as its source, in 1799 the Falmouth Water Works Company was established, to supply the town of Falmouth and visiting ships.

Since then, different approaches and organizational arrangements have been used to extend water supply to various sections of the country. Today, the NWC is the primary provider of potable water in Jamaica supplying more than 2 million persons with water service daily and more than ½ million of those persons with wastewater services also.

Regulators

In addition to the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation and the provisions of the NWC Act, the National Water Commission is regulated in different areas and to different degrees by a number of different entities.

The island's surface and sub-surface water resources are regulated by the Water Resources Authority (WRA) which is the agency established by statute for this purpose. Other bodies that regulate the NWC are the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR), the Ministry of Health, National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), the Jamaica Bureau of Standards, the Ministry of Labour, and the Factories Act.