Barbadians need to change their water usage practices and treat water as a precious resource.
Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Wilfred Abrahams, made this remark on Thursday, during the first post cabinet press conference, at Government Headquarters, Bay Street, St. Michael.
Minister Abrahams said: “It is not practical to expect everybody in Barbados to be able to do best practice initially, we have to look to ‘grandfather’ some people.”
The Barbados Water Authority (BWA) will work with the people of Barbados to institute a programme whereby persons can change out their current devices for water saving devices.
Emphasizing that all the water that comes out of the pipes in Barbados is potable water, that is, water suitable for drinking, he said Barbadians should not be utilizing their most vulnerable resource for purposes that do not require that standard of water.
Minister Abrahams questioned: “Why treat water up to the optimum standard, but then use that water to water plants, to water golf courses or wash cars?”
He stressed: “We have to prioritize and view our water as a commodity that has a purpose, so water that is treated to a certain level gets use for a purpose for which is acceptable for that level, and the best treated water is used for drinking water.”
To do this, the minister said the BWA is going to upgrade the country’s sewerage treatment plants to tertiary level, whereby they can reuse sewage as well as reclaim water, therefore, “a major shift in our perception and treatment of water, waste water and drinking water” is needed.
Pointing out that efforts are being made to have an equitable distribution of water in the island, Mr. Abrahams encouraged persons to engage in best practices, such as turning off taps during showers and while brushing their teeth, and collecting rain water for plant watering and car washing.