Water Marshal at the BADMC, Anthony Alleyne (left, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, NULL, NULL, 0); Agriculture Minister, Dr. David Estwick (centre) and BADMC Irrigation Engineer, Edmund Brathwaite (right), catching water from the irrigation system in the storage tank of farmer Janice Greenidge in Newcastle, St. John. Looking on are Ministry officials and officers of the BADMC. (A.Miller/BGIS)??

Barbadians are being cautioned with regard to their water usage.

This word of warning has come from Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick, who revealed that Barbados was suffering from a serious water challenge, adding that the island’s water management needed to be upgraded and put in line with international standards.

Speaking this morning during the launch of the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation’s (BADMC) irrigation project at Newcastle, St. John, he explained that Barbados had a total water catchment of 44.7 million gallons a day pumping capacity in its aquifers.

He added that this catchment was serviced by 19 coastal sheet water wells which the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) pumped from, as well as, four inland stream wells.

Dr. Estwick surmised that the combination of pumping from those wells by the Authority equates to approximately 32 million gallons per day. In addition, he said there were eight farming approved districts which pumped water under a licence arrangement and they used between eight and 12 million gallons per day.

"Do the mathematics. It means that we are in fact, pumping water from our aquifer at the exact rate that it is being recharged. That is a very dangerous thing for this country. It simply means that we must mitigate this stress on Barbados in terms of long-term development," he observed.

Dr. Estwick stressed that it was not a case of being alarmist but the country as a whole needed to understand the importance of this precious resource.

"It is necessary that our regulatory bodies understand the importance of water harvesting and water management. It is also important that we understand the value of reusing water after it has been tertiary treated. It makes no sense spending millions of dollars on a treatment plant to take water to tertiary standards which are better than the World Health Organisation’s drinking standards and then send it out to sea," he pointed out.

The Water Resources Minister indicated that Barbados would seriously have to look at the processes of water harvesting, reuse of treated water and the augmentation of desalination capability, if the island was to meet these challenges head on.

"That is the direction that we have to go in if we are to alleviate the so-called water stressed designation that we have, and secondarily, if we are to make sure that water is not a constraint to development in the future," Dr. Estwick concluded.


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