The water supply system which serves Vieux Fort, Laborie and environs comprises water abstracted from the Grace and Beausejour Intakes on the Grande Riviere de Vieux Fort River. Raw water is pumped to a storage tank at Grace, chlorinated and then distributed to the various communities. The communities served consist of approximately 4,300 households. The water supply in the South has been unreliable and inconsistent in both the dry and rainy season due to the vulnerability of the systems to climate variability. During periods of intense rainfall, the turbidity level of the raw water rises significantly above acceptable levels, making it difficult to simply disinfect. Although there is a water treatment plant at Grace, it has worked only intermittently since its installation. As a result, the raw water is chlorinated and then pumped to a storage tank for distribution. The existing treatment system at Beausejour Water Treatment Plant consists of coagulation tanks and slow sand filters. The present infrastructure is incapable of ensuring a consistent quality of potable water to customers during high turbidity conditions. In addition, during the dry season, the quantity of water available from the existing intakes decreases significantly. This often leads to extended periods of water supply interruptions in the area.
The project is of crucial importance to St. Lucia because of inadequate water supplies to the South of the island state. The project is jointly supported by the CDB and the German government-funded Caribbean Aqua-Terrestrial Solutions (CATS) program.