Combemere Wins Opening Round Of Debating Competition

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Two secondary school teams brought their best oratorical skills to the Grande Salle of the Central Bank to debate water desalination versus conservation today; but in the end, it was Combermere that was victorious.

The all-female winning team, which comprised Dinelle Jones, Cara Nicholls and Michelle Estwick, presented their views against the moot that water conservation was not necessary for Barbados since desalinated water could provide all the potable water for the island’s needs.?? Their argument against desalination included the high cost of establishing plants, the inability for desalinated water to provide for a large percentage of the population, and the comparably cost-free method of conservation.

Deighton Griffith Secondary School’s team, which featured Marielle Shorey, Nicholas Knight and Aschad Stuart, argued that desalination was a viable option as it used a vast resource, the sea, and thereby ensured unfettered access to our water scarce resources.?? They also argued that while conservation was wise, it would not be a necessity should the desalination process be embraced.

Following the debate, the students were given the opportunity to learn more about desalination – the process of removing salt from sea water so the end product could be used for consumption – through a presentation by Linda Dudley of Ionics Fresh Water Inc.

After deliberation, head judge, Mary Thompson, commended the students on their efforts and suggested ways in which they could make their future debating efforts even better than those presented today.?? In the end, however, Combermere earned 133 points to Deighton Griffith Secondary School’s 118, which will allow the latter school to compete in the semi finals next month.

The debate was the first in a series of preliminary rounds in the National Council for Science and Technology’s Schools’ Science Lecture Series and Debating Competition, which will see students debate varied and topical environmental issues.

The series continues Monday, January 17, when the Seventh Day Adventist School and Queen’s College will deliberate on the economic gains of marinas versus mangroves.??nekaelia.hutchinson@barbados.gov.bb

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