The National Water Commission is a statutory organisation charged with the responsibility of providing potable water and wastewater services for the people of Jamaica. Although there are other water service providers such as Parish Councils and private water companies, none provides as much as the National Water Commission.
The Mission of the National Water Commission is to provide the highest quality potable water and wastewater services, maintain good working conditions and good corporate citizenship while protecting the natural environment and contributing positively to national development.
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.
Fore-runners of the National Water Commission date back to as early as 1766 when Roger Hope Elleston, owner of The Hope Estate, constructed an open aqueduct to carry surplus water from his property to the 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 system 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 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.
ORGANISATION / STRUCTURE
The NWC is headed by a nine-member Board of Commissioners appointed by the portfolio Minister. Together, they establish policy and give general direction to the organisation. Operationally, the NWC is headed by a President who is assisted by six Vice Presidents. Operationally, the island is served by two operating divisions - Eastern and Western - headed by two of the Vice Presidents. Each division consists of four Areas headed by Area Managers. The two divisions and their associated Areas are:-
Kingston, St. Andrew, St. Thomas, St. Catherine, Clarendon, St. Mary and Portland
St. James, Westmoreland, Hanover, Trelawny, St. Ann, Manchester and St. Elizabeth