Citizens Must Take Responsibility For Water Conservation

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Minister of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe??

With approximately 60 per cent of the island’s water unaccounted for, and being lost either through leakage or burst mains, another call has been made for Barbadians collectively to foster water conservation.

It has come from Minister of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, who has also reiterated the need for a culture of shared governance.

"There has to be a collaborative effort where all the systems of society, including the church, become involved in helping citizens become more responsible. A citizen will get a high water bill and they will quarrel about it. At times, they may assess it as being the fault of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA), but when you do the assessment, you will discover that sometimes there are leaking pipes in the house; sometimes the toilet systems are not working properly, or they are not the right systems.

"Sometimes you have children at home and their water conservation habits are terrible. These all come into play when you begin to look at how you create a system where both the Authority and the citizens participate in ensuring that the best possible habits are brought to bear on how we treat water issues in Barbados," Minister Lowe underscored.

With regard to queries as to whether they intended to create a ???water police’ post, the Minister stressed that this was definitely not the answer.

"We can’t create a post to respond to everything like that when in truth and in fact, the resolutions to those issues are in the grasp of the persons who are committing the infractions. What we need to do though, is to get people to share the responsibility of governing…all of us who access such a precious resource must feel responsible for its preservation," he maintained.

In terms of ongoing efforts to address issues at the BWA, Minister Lowe pointed out that they ranged from service quality issues, customer care concerns and those relating to billing and collection.

"I really want the public to understand the complexity of trying to fix the BWA, and I want them to understand that while you are trying to fix it, it is not like a motor vehicle which you can park and put on blocks and take care of it. It has to keep running because tourism… education… [and] health care require access to water and then daily living in a society requires it, ??[and] agriculture requires it as well.

"So what we are saying is that the country has access to a continuous flow of water.?? We are also saying that the country also wants a BWA that is a fully-functioning institution and that is where the focus of the Ministry has been," Dr. Lowe declared.??cgaskin@barbados.gov.bb

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