Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 16, 2019 (SKNIS): Prolonged dry spells and drought-like conditions have become more frequent in St. Kitts and the wider Caribbean region over the years as the climate continues to change.
The reality of reduced rainfall means that sources of potable water such as aquifers and springs will be negatively impacted.
“We have to educate our people that if the rain doesn’t fall then our aquifers won’t be recharged; our surface sources won’t be recharged,” said Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, Minister responsible for Water.
The minister’s comments were made on Monday (October 14, 2019) at the opening of the 28th Annual Caribbean Water and Waste Association (CWWA) Conference and Exhibition currently taking place at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort. The five-day conference is being attended by regional ministers as well as water experts and international partners.
Minister Liburd added that Caribbean leaders have a fundamental responsibility to address the associated challenges of reduced rainfall, which would require improving infrastructure and finding new sources of water. This can include desalination – a process that takes away mineral component from saline water – and drilling new wells.
One way to address water shortages that can be implemented right away, and at a fraction of the cost of the two abovementioned methods, was highlighted by Minister Liburd.
“We have to educate our people about conservation,” the minister stated. “Political leaders have to also create policies whereby we educate our people that this [water] is a public good that we must recognize for what it is worth.”
Officials from the Water Services Department (WSD) in St. Kitts utilize the media to promote conservation. Such was the case on Wednesday, October 02, when Charles Parris, Assistant Water Engineer at the WSD appeared on the radio and television programme Working for You. The WSD also promote conservation during the annual observance of World Water Day in March.
Minister Liburd said that the St. Kitts-Nevis government readily accepted the opportunity to host the CWWA conference for 2019, as it complements the administration’s firm belief “that coming together and sharing experience and expertise can only … redound to the benefit of regional cooperation.”