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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.
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.