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Water Security in the Caribbean

Water security challenges in the Caribbean are unique to each country, however, common challenges have recently been identified. In the video above, Keith Nichols, the Project Development Specialist at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) speaks of the need for a strategic approach to develop the water sector, including the  challenges facing the region. The CCCCC is part of the Global Water Partnership-Caribbean (GWP-C) which  has identified the following water related challenges for the region:
  • Challenge 1: Water sector infrastructure exposed to damage and disruption from water-related hazards;
  • Challenge 2: Increasing demand, inefficient water use and leakage exacerbating the vulnerability of existing water supply   systems and sources;
  • Challenge 3: Effectiveness of community and urban water supply systems exposed to increasing climate variability;
  • Challenge 4: Agricultural production vulnerable to seasonal rainfall and drought;
  • Challenge 5: Effective management of water resource quantity and quality threatened by a changing climate; and
  • Challenge 6: Escalating costs of flood-related damage and losses
The GWP-C, with more than 80 partners in over 20 Caribbean territories, has developed a “Caribbean Regional Framework for Investment in Water Security and Climate Resilient Development.” The GWP-C’s Water, Climate and Development Programme (WACDEP) is executed in partnership with the CCCCC. Any entity can become a partner of the GWP-C.
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The CCCCC has been engaged in numerous water related initiatives including the construction of the rainwater harvesting and wastewater recycling  facility at Coconut Bay Beach Resort and Spa in Vieux Fort St. Lucia; the photovoltaic and salt water reverse osmosis plant in Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines; the photo-voltaic system for the Belize Water Services Limited on Caye Caulker, Belize; the photovoltaic system (commissioning and construction of the energy switching station) to the Barbados Water Board; the installation of 54 Automatic Weather stations among 16 countries and  the installation of 5 Coral Reef Early Warning Station (CREWS) stations across the region.
Through partnerships with UK-DFID, EU and the Government of Grenada, the CCCCC has made a significant impact on communities which were fully dependent on rainwater harvesting, a history which was recapped by Dwight Logan, a teacher on Petit Martinique.
“In the 1970’s most of the cattle population was wiped out because there was no water for the cattle to drink; no feed….in 1961 there was a drought where the school had to be closed for weeks, because there was no water for the children to drink. …In the 1950s, 60s and 70s water had to be transported from Grenada to Petit Martinique…and in during distribution of water there were fights and quarrels,” said Mr. Logan.
On April 15, 2016, the CCCCC handed over two Salt Water Reverse Osmosis Systems and a photo-voltaic system on the islands of Carriacou and Petit Martinique. To find out more about the partnerships click on the video link below and also be sure to subscribe to the Centre’s Youtube channel.

 Read about the ‘Caribbean Regional Framework for Investment in Water Security and Climate Resilient Development’  Framework document and its tremendous potential in building climate resilience in the Caribbean region. Also, download the Framework publications here.

Caribbean and International Water and Funding Agencies Meet on a New Caribbean Climate-Proofing Water Investment Initiative

Over thirty (30) representatives from key regional and international water and finance institutions will meet in Barbados on April 9th and 10th, 2015 to help steer a new Caribbean Climate-Proofing Water Investment initiative spearheaded by the Global Water Partnership-Caribbean (GWP-C) under its Water, Climate and Development Programme (WACDEP) executed in collaboration with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC).

The two-day Consultation will provide the stakeholders with a thorough overview of the new initiative which includes the development of a Regional Caribbean Climate Resilience and Water Security Investment Plan (CReWSIP). This plan is aimed at providing a coordinated and programmatic approach to identifying, prioritising and sourcing finance for the work of regional agencies in enhancing the climate resilience of the Caribbean water sector.

The upcoming Stakeholder Consultation is a crucial step in the process to ensure that the CReWSIP responds to regional needs and will help regional institutions deliver their respective roles and mandates as they relate to water security. It provides the opportunity for regional institutions to elaborate on how the Investment Plan can support their work and to guide the process in the right direction. Additionally, it will allow development partners to define how CReWSIP could be used as a vehicle to channel resources into regional water security issues.

According to Dr. Natalie Boodram, Programme Manager of the GWP-C WACDEP, “Collaboration and coordination between regional stakeholders is essential for the Caribbean Climate Resilience and Water Security Investment Plan to deliver benefits on the ground.”

The Caribbean Climate-Proofing Water Investment Initiative is being funded by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) and while GWP-C and the CCCCC are coordinating the development of the CCReWSIP, the resulting programmes and projects are anticipated to be implemented through regional institutions, with the support of development partners.

Some of the organisations that will be represented at the upcoming Meeting in Barbados include: the GWP-C, the CCCCC, the CDKN, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the European Union (EU), the Department for International Development (DFID), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA), the Caribbean Water and Sewerage Association (CAWASA), the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and other agencies.Download media release here.

Credit: Global Water Partnership-Caribbean (GWP-C)

Climate-Proofing Water Investment in the Caribbean

The Global Water Partnership-Caribbean (GWP-C) has embarked on a new initiative under its Water, Climate and Development Programme (WACDEP) called “Climate-Proofing Water Investment in the Caribbean” which is being executed in partnership with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC).

The initiative includes the development of a Caribbean Climate Resilience and Water Security Investment Plan (CCReWSIP) which aims to provide a coordinated and programmatic approach to identifying, prioritising and sourcing finance for actions to enhance the climate resilience of the Caribbean through improved water resources management.

The project is being funded by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) and falls within one of the key components of the GWP-C WACDEP which recognises the need to prioritise water investments which perform well under a full range of climate scenarios.

Also crucial to the GWP-C WACDEP is its emphasis on no/low regret investment options given climate uncertainties. Once completed, the implementation of the actions in the Investment Plan and its periodic revision will be an ongoing process supported by GWP-C and the CCCCC.

Get more details on the initiative by downloading a Stakeholder Briefing Note here. Also, we encourage you to share your feedback and comments with GWP-C at knowledgeplatform@gwp-caribbean.org.

Credit: Global Water Partnership – Caribbean

Climate Policy Goes Hand-in-Hand with Water Policy

Guyana beverage manufacturer Banks DIH Limited treats all waste water, making it safe for disposal into the environment. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS

Guyana beverage manufacturer Banks DIH Limited treats all waste water, making it safe for disposal into the environment. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS

Concerned that climate change could lead to an intensification of the global hydrological cycle, Caribbean stakeholders are working to ensure it is included in the region’s plans for Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

The basis of IWRM is that the many different uses of finite water resources are interdependent. High irrigation demands and polluted drainage flows from agriculture mean less freshwater for drinking or industrial use.

Contaminated municipal and industrial wastewater pollutes rivers and threatens ecosystems. If water has to be left in a river to protect fisheries and ecosystems, less can be diverted to grow crops.

Meanwhile, around the world, variability in climate conditions, coupled with new socioeconomic and environmental developments, have already started having major impacts.

The Global Water Partnership-Caribbean (GWP-C), which recently brought international and regional stakeholders together for a conference in Trinidad, is aimed at better understanding the climate system and the hydrological cycle and how they are changing; boosting awareness of the impacts of climate change on society, as well as the risk and uncertainty in the context of water and climate change and especially variability; and examining adaptation options in relation to water and climate change.

“Basically we’re looking to integrate aspects of climate change and climate variability and adaptation into the Caribbean water sector,” Natalie Boodram, programme manager of the Water, Climate and Development Programme (WACDEP), told IPS.

“And this is a very big deal for us because under predicted climate change scenarios we’re looking at things like drier dry seasons, more intense hurricanes, when we do get rain we are going to get more intense rain events, flooding.

“All of that presents a substantial challenge for managing our water resources. So under the GWP-C WACDEP, we’re doing a number of things to help the region adapt to this,” she added.

Current variability and long-term climate change impacts are most severe in a large part of the developing world, and particularly affect the poorest.

Through its workshops, GWP-C provides an opportunity for partners and stakeholders to assess the stage of the IWRM process that various countries have reached and work together to operationalise IWRM in their respective countries.

Integrated Water Resources Management is a process which promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources in order to maximise economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems.

IWRM helps to protect the world’s environment, foster economic growth and sustainable agricultural development, promote democratic participation in governance, and improve human health.

GWP-C regional co-ordinator, Wayne Joseph, said the regional body is committed to institutionalising and operationalising IWRM in the region.

“Our major programme is the WACDEP Programme, Water and Climate Development Programme, and presently we are doing work in four Caribbean Countries – Jamaica, Antigua, Guyana and St. Lucia,” he told IPS.

“We’re gender-sensitive. We ensure that the youth are incorporated in what we do and so we provide a platform, a neutral platform, so that issues can be discussed that pertain to water and good water resources management.”

The Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN) is a non-profit, civil society body that focuses its resources on empowering Caribbean young people and their communities to develop programmes and actions to address socioeconomic and environmental issues.

Rianna Gonzales, the national coordinator of the Trinidad and Tobago Chapter, has welcomed the initiative of the GWP-C as being very timely and helpful, adding that the region’s youth have a very important role to play in the process.

“I think it’s definitely beneficial for young people to be part of such a strategic group of people in terms of getting access to resources and experts…so that we will be better able to communicate on water related issues,” she told IPS.

The CYEN programme aims at addressing issues such as poverty alleviation and youth employment, health and HIV/AIDS, climatic change and global warming, impact of natural disasters/hazards, improvement in potable water, conservation and waste management and other natural resource management issues.

The GWP-C said the Caribbean region has been exposed to IWRM and it is its goal to work together with its partners and stakeholders at all levels to implement IWRM in the Caribbean.

“A very significant activity for the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States has been to prepare a Water Sector Model Policy and Model Water Act which proposes to remedy the key water resources management issues through new institutional arrangements and mechanisms that include water and waste water master planning, private sector and community partnership and investment mechanisms,” GWP-C chair Judy Daniel told IPS.

IWRM has not been fully integrated in the policy, legal and planning frameworks in the Caribbean although several territories have developed/drafted IWRM Policies, Roadmaps and Action plans. Some of these countries include: Antigua and Barbuda; Barbados; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana, Jamaica; The Bahamas; Trinidad and Tobago; and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Credit: Inter Press Service News Agency

New deadline for proposals under GWP-C’s IWRM Initiative

Midday on February 24, 2014 is the new deadline to submit technical and financial proposals for the creation of a database of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) initiative that foster climate resilience in the Caribbean. The proposal is being requested under the Global Water Partnership-Caribbean’s (GWP-C) Water, Climate and Development Programme (WACDEP) for the Caribbean.

Interested applicants should submit the required documents via e-mail to the GWP-C Regional Coordinator at info@gwp-caribbean.org.

Download the Terms of Reference for the consultancy here.
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