Barbados is the 15th most water scarce nation on earth and the 16th most densely populated nation.
This was acknowledged today by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, National Insurance and Social Security (Special Assignments), Irvine Best as he addressed a one-day workshop on Management of Land and Water Resources at Accra Beach Hotel.
While noting that Barbados’ limited water resources and their management were of significant environmental, social and economic importance, he said, “These harsh statistics mean that Barbados must whole-heartedly embrace the concept of Integrated Water Resource Management as it seeks to uphold its mandate on water resources management.”
The senior civil servant further explained that Integrated Water Resource Management examined the opportunities and challenges associated with the use and management of water resources in the context of economic, social and environmental constraints of a nation or region.
And, he said, “… the adoption of Integrated Water Resource Management principles places novel demands on policymakers, operators and water-users, but it also provides an opportunity for achieving comprehensive and efficient water resources management decisions that address the challenges of sustainable development.”
Barbados is an active participant in the Global Environmental Facility Funded Project on Integrated Water and Coastal Management which is aimed at strengthening the concepts of Integrated Water Resources Management.
Today’s workshop was intended to help the country in developing a road map for the completion of the preparation of an Integrated Water Resource Management plan, which each country is required to do under the Johannesburg Plan of Action.