Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 02, 2019 (SKNIS): Scientists often point to drought as a symptom of climate change. Several Caribbean islands, including St. Kitts, experienced extended periods of low level of rainfall during the summer of 2016, which forced the Water Services Department (WSD) to implement water rationing measures.
With the damaging effects of climate change continuing to worsen, officials at the WSD said measures are being implemented to improve the levels of water supply. Charles Parris, Assistant Water Engineer, said upgrades to the water infrastructure are ongoing affecting storage tanks and distribution pipes.
“We have a few projects there that will deal with introducing new wells that will give us additional water and we are also considering desalination,” Mr. Parris stated, on Wednesday’s (October 02) edition of the radio and television programme Working for You.
Desalination is the process used to remove salt and other minerals from saline or seawater leaving freshwater that can be consumed by humans and animals, or used for agricultural purposes. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said that desalination “is being used more and more around the world to provide people with needed freshwater.”
Mr. Parris stated that desalination is a viable option for St. Kitts given the changing climate, the growing population, the expansion of industry, and an increasingly affluent society.
“Many people would talk about the cost of desalination and have that as an inhibiting factor but that cost is gradually going down with the improvement of technology and so forth,” he indicated.
Minister of Public Infrastructure, the Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, has embraced the process of desalination noting that government remains committed to exploring all options for managing water resources and enhancing supply options.