WATER RESOURCES ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I
Preliminary

   1   Short title

   2   Interpretation

 

PART II
Administration of Water Resources

Water Resources Authority

   3   Establishment of Authority

   4   Functions of Authority

   5   Ministerial directions

   6   Funds and resources of the Authority

   7   Application of revenues

   8   Borrowing powers

   9   Power of Minister to guarantee loans to Authority

   10   Power to invest moneys

   11   Accounts and audit

   12   Annual report

   13   Exemptions from taxes and duties

 

Water Resources Advisory Committee

   14   Establishment of Advisory Committee

   15   Functions of Committee

 

National Water Resources Master Plan

   16   Master Plan

 

PART III
Abstraction and Use of Water

   17   Application of this Act to abstraction and use of water

   18   Crown waters

   19   Licence required for abstraction, use of water

   20   Who may apply

   21   Simultaneous application for licence to discharge effluents

   22   Regulations relating to licences under this Part

   23   Implied term in every licence

   24   Approval of works by Authority not guarantee

   25   Planning permission still necessary

 

Easement

   26   Easement may be claimed

   27   Constitution of easement

   28   Registration, etc, of easement

 

Special Powers Relating to the Abstraction and Use of Water

   29   Interconnected, surface and underground water

   30   Minister may declare emergency area

   31   Powers of Authority in emergency

   32   Sources of supply reserved for public purposes

   33   Licences for use of reserved sources of supply

 

PART IV
Control and Protection of Underground Water

Control of Well-Drilling

   34   Consent of Authority to search for underground water

   35   Duty on well-driller to be licensed, etc

   36   Well-drilling and mining operations

   37   Waste of underground water from wells unlawful

 

Special Power of Authority in relation to Aquifers

   38   Authority may determine safe yield of aquifers

 

PART V
Control of Water Quality

Water Quality Control Plans

   39   Water Quality Control Areas

   40   Water Quality Control Plan

 

PART VI
Supplementary Powers of Authority

   41   Enforcement of regulatory controls

   42   Supplementary provisions as to enforcement

 

PART VII
General

   43   Appeal

   44   Penalties

   45   Suspension of licence additional penalty

   46   Fees and charges

   47   Offences by corporations

   48   Agencies to consult Authority prior to giving decisions

   49   Regulations

   50   Modification of laws

   51   Repeal of certain enactments and savings

   52   Act applies to Crown

   53   Amendment of certain enactments

 

PART VIII
Savings and Transitional Provisions

   54   Entitlement to licence in certain circumstances

   55   Provisions relating to special agreements

   56   Vesting of property previously held by the Underground Water Authority

   57   Saving of rights of existing staff of Underground Water Authority

   58   Construction of references to Underground Water Control Act

      SCHEDULES

 

THE WATER RESOURCES ACT

<TS:0.5,NM,NO>[Date of Commencement: 1st April, 1996]

<TS:0.5,NM,NO>Act 36 of 1995.

PART I
Preliminary

1   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Water Resources Act.

2   Interpretation

   In this Act-

   "Advisory Committee" means the Water Resources Advisory Committee established under section 14;

   "appointed day" means the day appointed pursuant to section 1 as the day on which this Act shall come into operation;

   "Authority" means the Water Resources Authority established under section 3;

   "construction" in relation to works, includes reconstruction and alteration thereof;

   "domestic use" in relation to the abstraction of water means the use of such water for-

   (a)   drinking, washing, cooking and sanitary purposes in connection with a residence; or

   (b)   farming, gardening, the watering of stock or penkeeping in connection with a household where the entire area of land does not exceed 0.5 hectare;

   "functions" includes powers and duties;

   "impoundment works" means any dam, basin or other works whereby water may be impounded for abstraction and use;

   "local authority" means-

   (a)   in relation to the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew, the Council of the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation as constituted under the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation Act; and

   (b)   in relation to any other parish, the Parish Council of such parish;

   "Master Plan" means the National Water Resources Master Plan referred to in section 16(6);

   "underground water" means any water under the surface of the ground whatever may be the geological structure in which it is standing or moving;

   "water resources", "water" and "waters" mean, respectively-

   (a)   water which is contained in-

         (i)   any spring, river, stream or other watercourse, whether natural or artificial, including any estuary thereof; and

         (ii)   any lake or pond, whether natural or artificial, sustained by underground water or by a spring, river, or stream;

   (b)   underground water;

   "Water Quality Control Area" means an area declared as such by the Minister in the circumstances specified in section 39;

   "Water Quality Control Plan" means a Plan prepared pursuant to section 40 in relation to a Water Quality Control Area;

   "well" includes any borehole, edit, tunnel or other excavation constructed or used for the abstraction of underground water;

   "works" includes impoundment works and wells.

PART II Administration of Water sources

<TS:0.5,NM,NO>Water Resources Authority

3   Establishment of Authority

   (1) There is hereby established for the purposes of this Act a body to be called the Water Resources Authority which shall be a body corporate to which the provisions of section 28 of the Interpretation Act shall apply.

   (2) The provisions of the First Schedule shall have effect in relation to the constitution and operations of the Authority and otherwise in relation thereto.

4   Functions of Authority

   (1) It shall be the duty of the Authority to regulate, allocate, conserve and otherwise manage the water resources of Jamaica.

   (2) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Authority may, for the purposes of performing any of its functions under this Act, do anything and enter into any transaction which, in the opinion of the Authority, is necessary to ensure the proper performance of its functions.

   (3) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of subsections (1) and (2), the Authority may-

   (a)   obtain, compile, store and disseminate data concerning the water resources of Jamaica;

   (b)   exercise planning functions as provided in this Act in relation to the Master Plan and Water Quality Control Plans;

   (c)   allocate water resources in conformity with the provisions of this Act;

   (d)   control the quality of water resources in accordance with the provisions of this Act;

   (e)   provide to any department or agency of Government, at its request, technical assistance in respect of any projects, programmes or activities which relate to the development, conservation and use of water resources;

   (f)   perform such other functions relating to the management, conservation and use of water resources as may be assigned to it by or under this Act or any other enactment.

5   Ministerial directions

   The Minister may, after consultation with the chairman of the Authority, give to the Authority such directions of a general character as to the policy to be followed by the Authority in the performance of its functions as appear to the Minister to be necessary in the interests of Jamaica and the Authority shall give effect to any such directions.

6   Funds and resource of the Authority

   The funds and resources of the Authority shall consist of-

   (a)   such sums as may be provided annually for the purpose in the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure of Jamaica;

   (b)   sums borrowed by the Authority pursuant to section 8 for the purpose of meeting any of its obligations or discharging any of its functions;

   (c)   all other sums or property which may in any manner become payable to or vested in the Authority in respect of any matter incidental to its functions.

7   Application of revenues

   The revenues of the Authority shall be applied for the purposes authorised by this or any other law in relation to the functions of the Authority.

8   Borrowing powers

   The Authority may, within such limits as the Minister responsible for finance may fix from time to time, borrow money for the purpose of enabling it to perform its functions under this Act.

9   Power of Minister to guarantee loans to Authority

   (1) With the approval of the House of Representatives, the Minister responsible for finance may guarantee, in such manner and on such conditions as he may think fit, the repayment of the principal and the payment of interest on any authorised borrowings of the Authority.

   (2) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, where any loan is, pursuant to subsection (1), guaranteed by the Minister responsible for finance, the repayment of the principal moneys and interest represented by the loan so guaranteed shall, during the continuance of such guarantee. be a first charge upon such revenue and assets of the Authority as shall be specified by that Minister.

   (3) Where the Minister responsible for finance is satisfied that there has been default in the repayment of any principal moneys or in the payment of interest guaranteed under the provisions of this section, he shall direct the repayment or, as the case may be, the payment, out of the Consolidated Fund and assets of Jamaica, of the amount in respect of which there has been such default.

   (4) The Authority shall make to the Accountant-General, at such times and in such manner as the Minister responsible for finance may direct, payments of such amounts as may be so directed in or towards repayment of any sums issued in fulfilment of any guarantee under this section, and payments of interest on what is outstanding for the time being in respect of any sums so issued at such rate as that Minister may direct, and different rates of interest may be directed as respects different sums and as respects interest f or different periods.

10   Power to invest moneys

   All moneys of the Authority not immediately required to be expended in the meeting of any obligations or the discharge of any functions of the Authority may be invested in such securities as may be approved either generally or specifically by the Minister and the Authority may, with the approval of the Minister, sell all or any of such securities.

11   Accounts and audit

   (1) The Authority shall keep proper accounts and other records in relation to the business of: the Authority and shall prepare annually a statement of accounts in a form satisfactory to the Minister, being a form which shall conform to the best commercial standards.

   (2) The accounts of the Authority shall be audited within six months after the close of each financial year or within such other period as the Minister may direct by an auditor or auditors appointed annually by the Authority and approved by the Minister.

   (3) So soon as the accounts of the Authority have been audited, the Authority shall send the statement of its accounts referred to in subsection (1) to the Minister, together with a copy of any report made by the auditors on that statement or on the accounts of the Authority.

   (4) The auditors' fees and any expenses of the audit shall be paid by the Authority.

   (5) The Auditor-General shall be entitled, at all reasonable times, to examine the accounts and other records in relation to the business of the Authority.

12   Annual report

   (1) The Authority shall, as soon as practicable after the end of each financial year, cause to be made and shall transmit to the Minister, a report dealing generally with the activities of the Authority during the preceding financial year, and containing such information relating to the proceedings and policy of the Authority as can be made public without detriment to the interests of the Authority.

   (2) The Minister shall cause a copy of the report together with the annual statement of accounts and the auditor's report thereon to be tabled in the House of Representatives and in the Senate.

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