With the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) reporting a continued drought situation for 2020, Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Wilfred Abrahams, has stated that Barbadians have a role to play to assist the BWA in its mitigating measures.
The Barbados-based CIMH reported in January 2020 that over the last three months, rainfall in the eastern Caribbean was normal to below normal, and warned that even more countries would have concerns over long term drought that can influence large rivers and reservoirs, and groundwater by the end of the 2020 dry season, in May.
The CIMH also reported that countries with concern include Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and Nevis, the ABC Islands, Cayman Islands, Belize and parts of Hispaniola and Cuba.
Minister Abrahams, when asked to comment on the report while at an on-site update of the Barbados Water Authority’s Extended Hours and Burst Repairs Project, stated: “This has been the worst drought in over 60 years since independence, the rain is not falling in the way that we need the rain to fall to recharge the aquifers. So, even if the water authority fixed every single burst and even if our pumping stations and everything was working optimally, we would still have a problem occasioned by a lack of water.”
He urged Barbadians to stop wasting our “most precious resource”, and noted that persons who might not be affected by low water pressure and water outages as a result of their proximity to the distribution system, need to understand that when they waste water they are affecting others living on the island.
Mr. Abrahams said in the same way that we try to conserve electricity if our bills are too high, by turning off lights and unplugging electrical devices not in constant use, the same must be done with regard to water. He called on persons to turn off taps while brushing their teeth, lathering of skin when showering, and to wash cars with a bucket, and added that they should invest in personal water tanks and water saving devices. Stating that water is considered as the “new oil”, Mr. Abrahams explained that Government was looking at every aspect of mitigation to address the water situation. Those mitigation measures include the Extended Hours and Burst Repairs Project, dual plumbing codes, upgrading of pumping stations, use of waste water inland and desalination plants.