Call for new water plan
The water supply in Barbados and the rest of the region continues to be under threat.
And officials have called for new technologies and strategic partnerships throughout the Caribbean to tackle the problem.
The call came during the official launch of the 22nd annual Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) conference and exhibition on Monday night at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
The one-week seminar is being held at Hilton Barbados under the theme Water And Waste Management: Cooperation For Action.
In his remarks, Atlee Brathwaite, chairman of the board of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA), suggested that regional policymakers focus on “analyses, prescriptions and actions” that would assist governments in developing necessary policy framework to ensure proper water management and water security in the region. He said while the BWA was among the leaders of wastewater management and water supply in the region, it could not rest on its laurels because a significant portion of the infrastructure was aging.
He also said groundwater resources could be vulnerable to indiscriminate dumping, increasing development, natural disasters and climate change.
In his address, Dr David Estwick, Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, said the BWA was aware of the issues facing Barbados’ water supply. He added that a number of projects, over the next five years, were being undertaken to fix the problems.
The projects included the construction of a new BWA headquarters, an upgrading of the sewage treatment plants, a wastewater reuse master plan, installation of photovoltaic and wind generators systems at a number of facilities, replacement of over 100 000 residential and commercial meters with non-moving parts smart meters, as well as repairs to and construction of water storage facilities.
“The main goal of the projects is to improve water resources management in Barbados as well as the sustainable water and wastewater service provision by the BWA. The primary outcome will be a modernized, efficient and financially viable organization,” said Estwick.
He also said “the non-revenue water level in Barbados was currently estimated at around 50 per cent and the goal was to reduce it to below 40 per cent in the first phase.
“The BWA currently expends quite a large sum of money per month for electricity and the goal is to reduce this figure as much as possible,” said the minister. (MM)