This Act stipulates that a Parish Council of a parish shall charge for the supply of all water from the water works in such parish in accordance with rules to be made by such Council, provided that the Minister may at any time, and from time to time, by Order, provide for the free distribution of water to specified persons or class of persons. The Act also provides for the definition of public land belonging to waterworks and for the punishment of trespass of such land.
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The island - discovered by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1494 - was settled by the Spanish early in the 16th century. The native Taino, who had inhabited Jamaica for centuries, were gradually exterminated and replaced by African slaves. England seized the island in 1655 and established a plantation economy based on sugar, cocoa, and coffee. The abolition of slavery in 1834 freed a quarter million slaves, many of whom became small farmers. Jamaica gradually increased its independence from Britain. In 1958 it joined other British Caribbean colonies in forming the Federation of the West Indies.