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.