Regional officials suggest ways to conserve water
Antigua & Barbuda and other countries in the Caribbean are being urged to look within to solve their own water crisis.
The statement from St Lucia’s Sustainable Development Minister Dr James Fletcher came days after OECS Director General Dr Didacus Jules said a regional plan is being mulled, as the region continues to grapple with prolonged scarcity of water.
Dr Fletcher told the Big Issues Programme, on Sunday, “There are things we can do domestically to improve the situation, but fashioning a regional or international approach is a little more problematic”.
The minister said, “It has to start with us at home by ensuring that we put in place the right measures to protect our watersheds, because that really is where the source of our water is.”
Dr Fletcher said for countries like Antigua & Barbuda and Barbados that depends on ground water, and there is the added issue of dealing with saline intrusion and sea level rises which have to be addressed.
The St Lucian minister made a case for rain water harvesting and dual plumbing, which he said would be effective in preserving water.
Dual plumbing is a system of plumbing installations used to supply both potable and reclaimed water to a home or business.
Under this system, two completely separate piping systems are used to deliver water to the user.
“We shouldn’t be using potable water, the scare potable water that we have for non-essential uses, “the St Lucian minister said.
Dr Fletcher’s comments were supported by Director of the Richmond Vale Academy in St Vincent & the Grenadines, Stina Herberg who said more rainwater harvesting and recycling of water should be done in the region.
“We need to do much more awareness about our water resources and how to protect them,” Herberg said.
She further stated, “On our islands here we have the solution. We need to find ways to share them more; allocate funding to train people in schools and community centres, so that we just do it”.