Effective Friday, May 26 non-essential use of water supplied by the National Water Commission, NWC is a punishable offence.

Due to worsening drought conditions, the NWC has issued a prohibition order against using excessive amounts of water or wasting the commodity.

According to the utility company, supply levels at the island’s two largest systems, Mona Reservoir and the Constant Spring facility, continue to fall.

Both systems are operating at less than 40-percent of capacity.

As a result limited potable water should be reserved for essential uses, such as drinking, cooking, washing, bathing and sanitation in areas still affected by drought conditions.

The watering of gardens, lawns, grounds and farms, refilling of swimming pools, washing of vehicles by the use of a hose, watering or washing roadways, pavements, paths and garages are among the punishable offences.

The offences are punishable by a fine imposed by the parish courts.

Failure to pay the fine could result in imprisonment for up to thirty days.

The Prohibition Order also applies to persons who cause or give permission to others to break the law.

Meanwhile, Minister with responsibility for Water, Senator Mathew Samuda, says the government is doing all it can to mitigate the ongoing drought conditions.

Senator Mathew Samuda, Minister with responsibility for Water.

Chevon Campbell contributed to this report.