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CAWASA e-Source Newsletter - Issue 5 : January - June 2013


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In this Issue January to June 2013 | Vols. 1 & 2 (Special Edition) Caribbean Water and Sewage Association Inc.
Secretariat News Page 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7
Dominica launches US$7.4 million water project Page 8
2013 World Water Day Feature Pages 10 - 12
Rate Increases with Popular Participation Page 13
150,000-gallon tank to provide daily ‘life
water’ to 3,000 Page 14
Bottled Water quality being assessed for approval Page 15
CAWASA Secretariat News Pages 2 and 3
Cayenne hosted successful 11th Water Week Pages 3 and 4
Pure Water Page 5
2013 World Water Day Feature Pages 6, 7 and 10
Caribbean Water Operators Networked and
Competed in Antigua Pages 8 and 9 A Tribute to Mr. Denis Yearwood Page 11

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CAWASA e-Source Newsletter - Issue 5 : January - June 2013

  1. 1. Caribbean Water and Sewage Association Inc. January to June 2013 | Vols. 1 & 2 (Special Edition) July to September 2012 | Vol. 4 No. 3 Caribbean Water Operators Network in Antigua E ngineers, ngineers, water water and and waste-water waste-water operators, operators, water and waste laborawater and waste laboratory analysts, stakeholders and tory analysts, stakeholders and other water and waste-water inother water and waste-water industry professionals from utilidustry professionals from utilities across the Caribbean gathties across the Caribbean gathered in Antigua and Barbuda at ered in Antigua and Barbuda at the end of June for their Third the end of June for their Third Annual Caribbean Water OpAnnual Caribbean Water Operators Conference. erators Conference.   The conference was held at The conference was held at the island’s Jolly Beach Resort the island’s Jolly Beach Resort on June 27 and 28 to discuss on June 27 and 28 to discuss matters relating to their profesmatters relating to their professional and organizational resional and organizational responsibilities across the region. sponsibilities across the region.   The theme for the two-day The theme for the two-day conference was Water Re-use: conference was Water Re-use: Contributing to Efficient Use of Contributing Efficient of Water Resources for a Healthy Water Resources a Healthy Environment. Environment.   The 2013 Water Operators The 2013 Water Operators Conference was jointly sponConference was jointly sponsored by the host utility -- the sored by the host utility -- the Antigua Public Utilities AuthorAntigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) – as well as by the ity (APUA) – as well as by the Caribbean Water and WasteCaribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CAWASA) water Association (CAWASA) and the Caribbean Regional and the Caribbean Regional Fund for Waste Water Management Fund for Waste Water Management (CReW) Project. (CReW) Project.   The opening session of the conThe opening session of the conference was addressed by Antigua’s ference was addressed by Antigua’s Tourism Minister, as well as Public Utilities Minister, Mr John Maginley, as well the representarepresentatives of as sponsoring tives of the sponsoring agencies, agencies, while the feature address while the Don Degan of Water and will be by feature address will be by DonWater Solutions (WWWS) in Waste Degan of Water and Waste Water Solutions (WWWS) in CanCanada, who spoke on Internationada, who spoke on International al Perspectives on Water Re-use. Perspectives on Water Re-use. The conference served to update  the knowledge andserved of water The conference skills to update waste water operators skills of and the knowledge and through water and waste fellow operators interaction with water operators through interaction with provide and professionals; and to fellow operatorsopportunity to access, view them the and professionals; and to providethe latest ideas in techniand share them the opportunity to access, view technology,the latest cal equipment, and share products ideas in technical suppliers. techand services with equipment, nology, products and services with It also provided Caribbean operasuppliers. the opportunity to share tors with  their experiences in preparation for It also provided Caribbean operators Operatorsopportunity toExamithe with the Certification share their experiences in preparation for nations, as well as to showcase their the Operatorsskills through Examipresentation Certification profesnations,presentations showcase their sional as well as to and competipresentation skills through profestive activities. sional presentations and competiThe Antigua meeting also altive activities. lowed participants to showcase Antigua and Barbuda Minister Antigua and Barbuda Minister John maginley John Maginley addressing the opening of the conference opening of the conference  their technical skills through the The Antigua meeting also allowed participants to showcase Operators Competition and to their technical skills through the identify emerging trends in the Operators wastewater industry. water and Competition and to identify emergingissues considAmong other trends in the waterby the delegates were: The ered and wastewater industry.  Enabling Environment for WaAmong other issues consideredand the delegates were: The ter by Waste Water Services, Enabling Environment for Water Water Quality in the Region, and Waste Water Services, WaApplication of Waste Water Reter QualityUtility Region, Appliuse and in the Development cation of Waste Water Reuse and Issues. Utility Development Issues. The CAWASA Secretariat  was represented by Secretariat The CAWASA Executive was represented by Executive Director Victor Poyotte and ProDirector Victor Poyotte and Program Officer Suzanne Joseph gram Officer Suzanne Joseph and water operators attended and water operators attended from across the Caribbean. from across the Caribbean. Participants expressed satisfac  Participants expressed satistion with the proceedings of their faction with the proceedings of third annual conference and partheir third annual conference ticularly welcomed the launchand particularly welcomed the ing at the at the conference of launching conference of the first edition edition of H2Operator, the first of H2Operator, the new magazine being published by the new magazine being pubCAWASA with assistance from lished by CAWASA with assisCReW and CReW and the varitance from the various CAWASA affiliates. (More on Pages 2, 8, ous CAWASA affiliates. (More and 9) on Pages 2, 8, and 9). DOWASCO Updates its Strategic Plan The last strategic plan developed by the Dominica Water and Sewerage Company Ltd (DOWASCO) covered a threeyear period starting from 1st April 2007 and ending on 31st March 2009. In 2013, some four (4) years after the plan expired, the Board and management made a decision to update it. At the request of DOWASCO, the Executive Director of CAWASA agreed to review all activities undertaken since the expiration of the plan. The purpose of the exercise was to determine the status of implementation of all post-plan activities, assess the Executive Director of CAWASA Victor Poyotte performance of the utility and to update the plan. In developing the strategic plan, the consultant took a five-prong approach which involved an analysis of base documents made available by the management of DOWASCO. The consultant interviewed personnel making up the management team of DOWASCO and representatives of key stakeholder organizations. On Wednesday 17th April 2013, the consultant facilitated a one-day stakeholder strategic planning retreat for the company. The retreat was attended by thirty-two (32) senior management personnel from DOWASCO and representatives of key stakeholder organizations. Following a review of notes compiled from base documents, stakeholder interviews and the stakeholder retreat the consultant compiled a Draft Strategic Plan. A draft version of the strategic plan was submitted to management, Board and other stakeholder representatives for validation. Based on feedback received, the consultant revised the Draft Strategic Plan to incorporate additional information provided. The final version of the Strategic Plan 20132018 which outlines strategic priorities along with activities to be implemented by DOWASCO was submitted to the management of DOWASCO for approval. thIs In this Issue Secretariat Secretariat News Page 3 Caribbean 150,000-gallon tank to provide daily ‘life Water Operators Networked and CAWASA News Pages 2 and 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7   water’ to 3,000 Pages 8 and 9 Page 14 Competed in Antigua Dominica launches US$7.4 million water project 3 and 8 Cayenne hosted successful 11th Water Week Pages Page 4 A Tribute to Mr. Denis Yearwood Bottled Water quality being assessed Pure Water Page 11 2013 World Water Day Feature Page 5 Pages 10 - 12   to serve 3,000 with daily ‘life water’ Page 12 15 for approval Page 2013 World Water Day Feature $700,00 tank Rate Increases with Popular Participation Pages 6, 7 and 10 Page 13 What a wonderful water week Back Page $700,00 tank to serve 3,000 with daily ‘life water’ Bottled Water quality being to provide daily ‘life water’ to 3,000 150,000-gallon tank Dominica launches US$7.4 million water project assessed for approval
  2. 2. January to June 2013 | Vols. 1 & 2 (Special Edition) e-Source Page 2 CAWASA Secretariat News Two enjoyable days of Networking! Following is the full text of the official Conference Overview of the Third Annual Caribbean Water Operators’ Conference held in St. John’s, Antigua on June 27th and 28th 2013 delivered by the CAWASA Executive Director. T he hosting of a two-day Caribbean Water Operators’ Conference is an important feature on the annual calendar of activities of the CAWASA Secretariat. After a one year hiatus in 2012 due mainly to resource constraints we at CAWASA are indeed grateful for the opportunity to partner with “The Caribbean Regional Fund for Wastewater Management (CReW)” to make the third conference a reality. In this regard, I must express our deepest appreciation to Chris Corbin of UNEP Caribbean Office and Denise Forest, the CReW Project Coordinator for demonstrating support for the efforts of the CAWASA Secretariat to uplift the professional standing of Caribbean Water Operators. One direct influence of this partnership is the deliberate selection of the conference theme “Water Reuse: Contributing to Efficient Use of Water Resources for a Healthy Environment.” We see this conference as providing Water Operators from the Caribbean with a unique opportunity to: • Make independent technical presentations highlighting technological developments in the water sector; • Make joint technical presentations with representatives of Associate Members who are involved in the implementation of projects related to the provision of water and sewerage services; • Share experiences and ideas on ways of improving the work of Operators, Analysts and Technicians as professionals in their own right; and • Offer solutions to many of the challenges facing Caribbean water and sewerage utilities. On behalf of the CAWASA Secretariat I am also pleased to announce the introduction of the first issue of the Caribbean H2Operator. From 2014 onwards, we intend to publish this document as an Annual Magazine to highlight the work undertaken by regional Operators in the course of delivering water and sewerage services to citizens of the Caribbean. Let me take advantage of this opportunity to congratulate Mrs. Suzanne Joseph, Program Officer at the CAWASA Secretariat on the successful publication of the magazine. It was her idea and she deserves full credit for seeing the initiative through. The conference is also an opportunity to bring you up to date with the performance of Operators in the annual certification examinations held twice a year in February and June. As you may know CAWASA offers certification examinations in seven (7) categories namely: water treatment, water distribution, water laboratory, wastewater treatment, collection and very small water systems. In six (6) of the above-mentioned categories, Water Operators/Analysts are allowed to register to sit examinations in four (4) different classes ranging from Levels 1-1V but in the case of “Very Small Water Systems” the examinations is in Level 1 only. In the ten years since the introduction of the certification examinations a total H20 S Another valuable CAWASA initiative ince joining the CAWASA Secretariat, I have placed a great deal of emphasis on improving the competences and professionalism of Water Operators from member utilities. I chose this approach because it is my firm belief that the day-to-day work performed by Operators is of the utmost importance to the delivery of quality water service. As a key stakeholder group, the Operators are fully involved in managing the collection of water at the intakes, supervising water storage facilities, treating of water at the treatment plants, testing the quality of water at the laboratories and coordinating the distribution of water that flows through the various systems. In 2003, the Secretariat entered into an T agreement with the Association of the Board of Certification (ABC) to provide testing services in support of the annual Operator Examination and Certification programme. Five years ago, the Secretariat initiated the Caribbean Water Operators’ Conference to provide a forum for Operators to network and share knowledge, skills and experiences. This inaugural issue of the H2O Operator Caribbean magazine is yet another major initiative taken by CAWASA aimed at highlighting the role of Water Operators in the water sector. The Secretariat wants to take this opportunity to encourage Water Operators to make full use of the magazine as a me- of three hundred and twenty-nine (329) Operators have successfully completed the annual examinations and qualified for certification. Of these, twenty-one (21) Operators have completed Level 3while nine (9) have completed Level 4. Of significance to you is that the performance in the field of wastewater management is to say the least very discouraging for CAWASA. The statistics show that, while only two operators have completed Level 3 in Wastewater Treatment none have reached Level 4. In the Wastewater Collection category two Operators have completed Level 3 while only one has reached Level 4. With regards to Wastewater Laboratory, one Operator has completed Level 3 and one has reached Level 4. Over the next two days the conference will focus on four sub-themes as follows: The enabling environment for delivering efficient water and wastewater services; Regional water quality; The application of wastewater reuse; and Utility development initiatives. Another major feature of the conference is a Business Session which is intended to allow CAWASA’s Associates operating in the sector to make presentations on various topics relating to projects being implemented or other organizational activities. In this regard, I wish to acknowledge the support of Seven Seas Water, Cole Engineering, Singer Valve, WASA-Trinidad, and Theobalds Engineering. PROFILE Brief Profile of the organization: CAWASA INC. The Caribbean Water and Sewerage Association Inc. CAWASA), is a regional association of thir-teen (13) water and sewerage utilities in the Carib-bean. CAWASA was incorporated in St Lucia in May 2010 as the successor to the Caribbean Basin Water Management Programme Inc (CBWMP Inc) which was incorporated in St Lucia in November 2001. WHO SHOULD BE CERTIFIED Operators, Analysts of water and wastewater utilities, hotels, breweries, other water related groups and independent candidates who meet the education and operating experience requirements. STEPS TO BECOME A CERTIFIED OPERATOR 1. Apply to CAWASA 2. Register for Tutorials 3. Submit application 4. Pay Exam fees 5. Take the Exam EXAMINATION ROLE OF THE OPERATOR/ANALYST Pre-examination Role •Take an interest in your professional development and in the certification programme; •Participate in training and other scheduled activities in preparation for the examination; •Obtain all text books and study material recommended for examination preparation; •Utilize all training facilities made available by the Utility/organization in support of examination preparation; •Register and sit the examination in accordance with instructions provided by the CAWASA Post-examination Role •Register for remedial training if unsuccessful in the examinations; •Continue professional development after receiving certification; •Participate in professional development activities for 2.4 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) over the two years; •Submit a completed renewal application form along with the renewal fee and relevant documentation no later than six (6) months before the expiry date of the certificate. Finally, the conference offers Operators the opportunity to showcase their technical knowledge and skills by participating in a few specialized competitive engagements. This will be followed by a site visit to a reverse osmosis plant. In closing, I must point out that the Program Officer Secretariat worked very closely with the host utility, the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA). Let me take this opportunity to thank Mr. Ivan Rodrigues and his administrative and technical support staff for their valuable assistance thus far with the arrangements for the conference. It will be remiss of me if I did not take time off to recognize the hard work put in by Mrs. Suzanne Joseph our Program Officer in order to bring this conference to reality. She singlehandedly coordinated the activities leading up to the conference and as you can expect will continue to administer the affairs of the conference to ensure its eventual success. I look forward to two enjoyable days of networking with participants, presenters and sponsors. Thank You WHY CERTIFICATION? To Perform your job Better! Advance your Career! COURSES OFFERED CLASSES I—IV 1. Water Distribution 2. Water Treatment 3. Wastewater Treat-ment 4. Collection 5. Water Laboratory 6. Wastewater Labora-tory 7. Very Small Water System 8. Small Wastewater System EMPLOYEE BENEFITS: Career Advancement opportunities Higher Wage earning opportunities Competitive advantage of non-certified Operators Recognition as a professional Operator EMPLOYER BENEFITS: Cadre of certified professionals Motivate employees to expand knowledge/skills Increase competence level of employees Ensure continuing education for employees CARIBBEAN Volume 1 • Issue 1 Antigua’s Tourism Minister John Maginley addressing participants at the opening ceremony Annual Newsletter of the Water Industry Operators of the Caribbean June 2013 1 dium for creating awareness of their job responsibilities. It is anticipated that the Operators will use the magazine as a tool for educating H2Operator Volume 1 Issue 1 2013 persons working within and outside of the water sector. By contributing articles on national or regional projects implemented, they can demonstrate how the water-related challenges encountered were tackled and solved, clarify their role as water sector professionals, update readers on progress made with the certification examinations and with the application of the knowledge and skills acquired. I also wish to point out that Mrs. Suzanne Joseph, Programme Officer attached to the CAWASA Secretariat, deserves all credit for the publication of this magazine. She came up with the idea and coordinated the activities related to this inaugural issue. Kudos to her, are fully in order. Now, it’s my distinct pleasure to invite you to find and read this first edition from cover to end and to share the contents with others. Victor Poyotte Executive Director, CAWASA CaribDA hosts successful Curacao workshop he Caribbean Desalination Association hosted a two-day workshop at the University of the Netherlands Antilles in Curacao, N.A. on June 26-28, 2013. Attendees learned about the importance of comprehensive solutions, efficient management systems, plant retrofitting opportunities and enjoyed a tour of the RO-Sta. Barbara Facility. Letter from CaribDA Publications Chair I hope the year is proving to be a productive and meaningful year so far. I am very pleased to share this April edition of CaribDA, chock full of the regions’ latest business and news related to the desalination industry. But first, I have an interesting technological breakthrough story that I’d like to talk about. When we refer to water treatment, we think seawater and brackish water desalination, or reuse, right? I can’t help but think that there are other sources out there. In fact, it’s called produced water. Produced water is natural water from underground formations, brought to the surface during oil or gas production. Produced water is one of the potential sources for water treatment. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the water to oil / gas ratio (WOR) averages seven barrels of water to one of oil. In the worst cases, the WOR reaches 50 to 1. You see, early in the life of an oil well, oil production is high and water production is low. Over time, oil production de- creases and water production increases. The cost of managing such a large volume of water is a key consideration to oil and gas producers. Previous nationally produced water volume estimates are in the range of 15 to 20 billion barrels (bbl; 1 bbl = 42 U.S. gallons) generated each year in the United States. This is equivalent to a volume of 1.7 to 2.3 billion gallons per day (CE Clark and Veil – September/2009) Produced water properties (both physical and chemical) and volume vary considerably depending on geographic location of the field, the geological formation, the type of hydrocarbon product being produced, and the lifetime of a reservoir. The major concerns of produced water are: salt content, oil and grease, various natural inorganic, and organic compounds or chemical additives used in drilling among other processes involved in oil and gas upstream production. Therefore, produced water treatment could be a challenge. I naturally think, are we ready for this new application? Is there a scalable and environmentally sound solution to desalt produced water? For more on this and related topics, see this recent coverage from NBC news. If you have any questions or comments, please email me at: jmpinto@ In the meantime, I hope I’ve given you some food for thought. Sincerely, Juan Miguel Pinto CaribDA Publications Chair
  3. 3. January to June 2013 | Vols. 1 & 2 (Special Edition) January to June 2013 | Vols. 1 & 2 (Special Edition) e-Source e-Source Page 3 Page 3 CAWASA Secretariat News S CROMWELL WILLIAMS CROMWELL WILLIAMS MOVES ON… MOVES ON… t Kitts and Nevis, CAWASA and t Kitts and Nevis, CAWASA and the Caribbean will miss a sterling the Caribbeanthe water cause in champion of will miss a sterling champion Federation, who in the twin-island of the water cause left the position as General Manager at left twin-island Federation, who the his his position as General Manager at the Water Services Department of St Kitts Water Services Department of St Kitts in July 2013 to take up an assignment in in July 2013 to take up an assignment in the USA. the USA. Mr. Cromwell Williams is a qualified Mr. Cromwell Williams is a qualified Civil Engineer with over 15 years expeCivil Engineer with over 15 and Project rience in Civil Engineering years experience in Civil mainly in Water Supply Management, Engineering and Project Management, He also hasWater10 years Management. mainly in over Supply Management. the also has over 10grantexperience in He reviewing and years experience in the reviewing and granting permits for land development and ing permits for land development and construction projects. construction projects. as General ManMr. Williams served Mr. Williams Water Engineer Manager and Chief served as Generalof the agerKitts Chief Water Engineer of the St. and Water Services Department St. Kitts Water to July 2013. The utilfrom July 2001 Services Department from July 2001 to July 2013. The utility has over 14,000 connections and $8 ity has over 14,000 connections a team million in annual sales. He led and $8 million in annual sales. He led a team of three Civil Engineers and about 20 of three Civil Engineers and designing technicians in the planning, about 20 technicians and groundwater systems of surface in the planning, designing of a total workforce of 115 employees. in surface and groundwater systems in aworked as Engineer,115 Kitts Water He total workforce of St. employees. He worked as Engineer, St. Kitts Water Services Department from October 1999 Services Department from October 1999 to June 2001 and as Engineer, St. Kitts to June Works Department from Kitts Public 2001 and as Engineer, St. SepPublic 1995 to August 1998. from September Works Department tember 1995a Master of1998. He holds to August Science Degree in He holds a Master of Science Degree Hydrogeology and Groundwater in Hydrogeology from the University Resources which and Groundwater Resources which from the University of London in September 1999. He also of London in September 1999. He also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in holds Engineeringof Science Degree in Civil a Bachelor which he obtained Civil the Faculty of Engineering, Unifrom Engineering which he obtained from the the Westof Engineering, Trinversity of Faculty Indies based in University of Tobago in June of 1995. Trinidad and the West Indies based in idad and Tobago in June of 1995.served Professionally, Mr. Williams as Professionally, the St. Kitts Building a member of Mr. Williams served as a member1995the St. Kitts Building Board from of to 1998; a member Board Caribbean Development Bank of the from 1995 to 1998; a member of the Needs Trust Fund (CDB-BNTF) Basic Caribbean Development Bank Basic Needs Trust Fund (CDB-BNTF) Project Advisory Committee from 1996 Project Advisory Committee from 1996 to 1998. to He has been a member of the Carib1998. He Water and member of the Caribbean has been a Wastewater Associabean(CWWA) from 1999 to theAssociation Water and Wastewater present tion served as Vice-President of present and (CWWA) from 1999 to the the Asand served as Vice-President of therepsociation from 2007-2008 and also Association the St. 2007-2008 and also represented from Kitts Water Services Deresented the St. Kitts Water Services Department on the Board of the Caribbean partment on the Board of the Caribbean Basin Water Management Programme Basin Water Management Programme Inc. (CBWMP), now the Caribbean WaInc. (CBWMP), now the Caribbean Wa- Mr Cromwell Williams Mr Cromwell Williams ter and Sewerage Association Inc. (CAter and Sewerage Association Inc. TreaWASA). And he also served as (CAWASA).the CBWMP from 2000as 2003. surer of And he also served to Treasurer of the CBWMP been a member of Mr. Williams has from 2000 to 2003. Mr. Williams has of Civil Engineers the American Societybeen a member of the American Society of of St. Engineers (ASCE) and a member Civil Kitts De(ASCE) and a member Planning Board velopment Control and of St. Kitts Development Control and Planning Board since 2002. He has also functioned as since 2002. He has Point functioned as the National Focal also for UNESCO the National Focal Point for UNESCO International Hydrologic Programme International Hydrologic Programme (IHP) from 2002 to the present and as (IHP) from 2002 to the present and as National Focal Point for the OAS InterNational Focal Point for the OAS InterAmerican Water Resources Network American Water Resources Network (IWRN) since 2002. (IWRN) since 2002. He has a number of accomplishments in He has a number of accomplishments the water sector including an analyin the water sector including an analysis of projected supply and demand sis groundwater from 2000 to 2001, the for of projected supply and demand for groundwater from2002 and2001, the preparation between 2000 to 2004, of preparation between 2002 and grounda project proposal to increase 2004, of a project proposal25%increase groundwater supplies by to and supervision water supplies by 25% an US$8 million of implementation of and supervision of implementation of an US$8 Project” “Water Supply Improvement million “Water Supply procurement of wellinvolving the Improvement Project” involving the procurement of welldrilling equipment, the successful drilldrilling equipment, increase production ing of eight wells to the successful drilling of eight wells to increase gallons per capacity by about 1 million production capacity by about 1 million gallons per day. day. Williams initiated Geographic Mr. Mr. Williams initiated Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping of Information infrastructure, mapping of the water System (GIS) introduced the water the revenue collection syschanges in infrastructure, introduced changes in thethe use of collection system including revenue Handheld Detem including the usenumber of public vices and initiated a of Handheld Devices and initiated a number of public awareness campaigns that resulted in awarenessin wastage and unaccounted reduction campaigns that resulted in reduction in wastage and unaccounted for water. for water. attended a number of short He has He has attended a number of short courses and workshops relating to wacourses and workshops relating to also ter resources management and has water resources management and has also received a number academic, education received a number academic, education and training awards as well as a special and training awards as well Minister of commendation from Prime as a special commendation fromDenzil L. Douglas St. Kitts-Nevis, Dr. Prime Minister of St. Kitts-Nevis, Dr. Denzil L. Douglas for initiative in raising public awarefor initiative in raising public awareness of water issues.CAWASA wishes ness of water issues.CAWASA wishes Mr Williams well. Mr Williams well. Sharing experiences on the banks of the Maroni River Sharing experiences on the banks of the Maroni River Cayenne hosted successful 11th Water Week with heavy Caribbean participation C aribbean delegates from several aribbeanFrench and Butch-speakEnglish, delegates from several English, French and Butch-speaking islands and territories had a ing islands and this year when rare experience earlier territories had a rare participatedearlier this of water acexperience in a week year when they they participated in ofweek of water activities on the banks a the Maroni River. tivities President of ofthe Communaute The on the banks the Maroni River. The President the Communaute D’Agglomerationof de Centre Littoral D’Agglomeration de Centre Alexan(CACL) Cayenne, Rodolphe Littoral (CACL) Cayenne, Rodolphe 11th Wadre, invited CAWASA to the Alexandre, invited Cayenne fromthe 11th Water Week in CAWASA to April 22-16, ter Week in Cayenne from Suzanne Jo2013. Programme Officer April 22-16, 2013. attended the Officer SuzanneCAseph Programme Conference on Joseph attended the Conference on CAWASA’s behalf. WASA’s behalf. Delegates attended from Martinique, Delegates Suriname, Santo DominGuadeloupe,attended from Martinique, Guadeloupe, Lucia, St Martin and Haiti. go, France, St Suriname, Santo Domingo, France, St Lucia, St Martin and Haiti. The opportunity for the CACL, the SIThe opportunity for the CACL, the SIAEAG and SICSM -- initiators of these AEAG was afforded-- initiators of these days – and SICSM with the possibility days – was afforded with the possibility for institutional partners of the Caribfor institutional partners of the Carib- Rodolphe Alexandre Rodolphe Alexandre Theme and logo for Cayenne’s 11th Water Week. Theme and logo for Cayenne’s 11th Water Week. bean and the Amazon and professional bean and the Amazon and professional sanitation, drinking water and waste sanitation, drinking water and waste management, to meet again. management, to meet again. Panel discussions, technical visits, Panel discussions, technical many sales presentations were among visits, sales presentations were among many opportunities to exchange experiences opportunities to exchange experiences and share knowledge. These days were and share knowledge.public, days were open to the general These especially open to the general studentsespecially schoolchildren and public, training schoolchildren and students An edufor careers in the environment. training for careers in the environment. An educational exhibition and events were also cational exhibition and events were also planned. planned. The AGGLO (urban community centerThe AGGLO (urban community cencoast), organized the 11th edition of ter coast), organized to 26 April 2013 of Water Days from 22 the 11th edition in Water Days from 22 to 26 April 2013 in Cayenne. Cayenne. Indeed, this year CACL had the honor Indeed, thisthis event, whichthe honor of hosting year CACL had annually of hosting this event, which from the brings together professionals annually brings together professionals from the sectors of water, sanitation and waste sectors of water, sanitation and waste throughout the Caribbean. throughout the Caribbean. year of co2013 is the International 2013 is in International year of cooperation thethe field of water and it is operation in the field of of thisand it is natural that the theme water edition natural that the theme of Cooperation was “Sharing the Amazon this edition was “Sharing the Amazon Cooperation and the Caribbean”, which promised and the Caribbean”, which promised exchanges and returns particularly rich exchanges and returns particularly rich experience. experience. is competent in its terriThe CACL The the management of drinking watory in CACL is competent in its territorywastewater and sanitation is fully in ter, in the management of drinking water, wastewaterpromote cooperation in this desire: to and sanitation is fully to this desire: to promotewater by an exmeet the challenges of cooperation to meet the challenges of water by an exchange of innovative practices, sharing change of innovative practices, sharing of experiences and expertise. of Rodolphe Alexandre , President of experiences and expertise. Rodolphe Alexandre , President of Community of Agglomération of C Community of Agglomération of to between Littoral, invited the public C between Littoral, invitedthe water secdiscover the Zephyr to the public to discover the Zephyr to the water sector and to meet the various professional tor and to meet the various event aimed Antilles and Guyana. This professional Antilles many challenges and potential to raise and Guyana. This event aimed to cooperation challenges and potential of raise many in the field of water. of Several thematic and cultural highcooperation in the field of water. Several thematic and cultural high- lights such as conferences, educational lightsrecreational workshops, exhibiand such as conferences, educational and and visits were also hostedexhibitions recreational workshops, at the tionsWater day celebrations. 11th and visits were also hosted at the 11th Water day celebrations. The Issues: What are the issues of waThe Issues: What are the issues What ter production across the planet?of water production sustainable planet? What techniques for across the management techniques for sustainable management and quality of the resource? What soand quality of the resource? What solutions for access to drinking water on lutions for access to drinking waterCaour Amazonian territories and the on our Amazonian territories and the Caribbean? ribbean? were – and still are -- quesThose Those were at the heart of discustions that are – and still are -- questions at the11th Waterheart of discussions that are at the Day, organized sions at the11th Water Day, organized by the Urban Community Centre coast by the Urban Community Centreunion (CACL) in partnership with inter coast (CACL) in partnership with inter union of Martinique and Guadeloupe, and SIof Martinique and Guadeloupe, and SIAEAG SICSM. AEAG SICSM. An event organized in the framework of An event organized in thecooperation the International Year of framework of the field of water 2013, the UN’s global in the International Year of cooperation in the field of water 2013, stakeholders at organization invited all the UN’s global organizationlevel as local,stakeholders at the national invited all to lead the disthe national level as local, to lead the discussion on how to manage the absolutely cussion on howhighly threatened by huvital resource, to manage the absolutely vital activities and climatic changes. human resource, highly threatened by man activities and climatic changes. CACL is competent in its territory in CACL is competent drinking water, the management of in its territory in the management of drinking water, wastewater and sanitation is fully in wastewater and sanitation is cooperathis determination: encourage fully in this determination: encourage cooperation to meet the challenges of the water, tion toexchange challenges of the water, by an meet the of innovative practices, by an exchange of innovative expertise. sharing of experiences and practices, sharing of this event aimedexpertise. Therefore, experiences and to raise Therefore, this event aimed of coopmany challenges and potential to raise many challenges and water. eration in the field of potential of cooperation in the field of water. Some of the visiting Caribbean delSome of the visiting Caribbean delegates were also invited to another egates wereMaripasula and tenwkre’ community also invited to another community Maripasula with tenwkre’ – an Amerindian village and approxi– an Amerindian village with approximately 200 inhabitants and the invitees matelycross the Maroniand the invitees had to 200 inhabitants River by canoe. had to cross the Maroni River by canoe. (See more Cayenne Coverage on Back (See more Cayenne Coverage on Back Page ) Page )
  4. 4. CAWASA Secretariat News an Water Operators Networked ande-Source Competed in to June 2013 | Vols. 1 & 2 (Special Edition) 4 January Antigua! Page 8 CAWASA Secretariat News Caribbean Water Operators Networked and Competed in Antigua! Antigua and Barbuda Minister John Minister John Antigua and Barbuda Minister John of World Guest Speaker Don degan of World Guest Speaker Don degan maginley addressing the opening of Guest Speaker Don degan of World the opening of maginley addressing the opening of(Canada) Waste Participants at the opening Water Participants at the opening ceremony Waste Water Solutions conference Water Solutions (Canada) Solutions (Canada) ceremony the Waste nce Participants at the opening ceremony the conference Operators appreciated promotional mini-exhibition Operators appreciated promotional mini-exhibitionmini-exhibition Operators appreciated promotional While gathered in Operators Conference, their 2013 Caribbean to view igua and Barbuda for their 2013 Caribbean WaterAntigua and Barbuda for Water Operators able Water Operators Conference, participants were able to view a special exhibition p While gathered in Antigua and Barbuda for their 2013 Caribbeanparticipants were Conference, a special exhibition putto viewthe participants were able on by a special exhibition put on by the OECS from the delegates were able to appreciate exhibits from the gates were able to appreciate exhibits CAWASAOECS, as well as fromfrom Supply. Duringwell as fromOECS, as well promotedexhibition, During the promoted the RRACCpromoted HD the OECS, as the exhibition, the OECS as from HD Supply. the OECS exhibition, the OECS OECS CAWASA delegates were able to appreciate exhibits HD Supply. During the the RRACC Project (Reduce Climate Change). CAWASA Program Officer SuzanneClimate Change). in setting-up Risks Results from Joseph assisted CAWASA Program Minister John Risks to Human and Natural Assets Results from theNaturalto Human and Natural Assets Change). CAWASA Program Officer Suzanneand Officer Suzanne Joseph assisted in set Project (Reduce Speaker to Human of World Assets Results from Climate Joseph assisted in setting-up and Guest the Risks degan and the opening of which drew positiveDonmanning the mini-exhibition, which drew positive responses from thethe twin-island state. around the region gathered in the twin-island st mini-exhibition, manning the mini-exhibition, whichthe water operators from around the region gathered in around the region gathered in the twin-island state. responses from drew positive responses from the water operators from water operators from Waste Water Solutions (Canada) Participants at the opening ceremony nce Operators appreciated promotional mini-exhibition igua and Barbuda for their 2013 Caribbean Water Operators Conference, participants were able to view a special exhibition put on by the gates were able to appreciate exhibits from the OECS, as well as from HD Supply. During the exhibition, the OECS promoted the RRACC Antigua and Barbuda Minister John Guest Change). CAWASA of World Risks to Human and Natural Assets Results from ClimateSpeaker Don degan Program Officer Suzanne Joseph assisted in setting-up and maginley addressing the opening of mini-exhibition, which drew positive responses fromWaste Water Solutions (Canada) the region gathered in theParticipants state. opening ceremony the water operators from around twin-island at the the conference Operators appreciated promotional mini-exhibition While gathered in Antigua and Barbuda for their 2013 Caribbean Water Operators Conference, participants were able to view a special exhibition put on by the OECS CAWASA delegates were able to appreciate exhibits from the OECS, as well as from HD Supply. During the exhibition, the OECS promoted the RRACC Project (Reduce the Risks to Human and Natural Assets Results from Climate Change). CAWASA Program Officer Suzanne Joseph assisted in setting-up and manning the mini-exhibition, the various CAWASA responses from themember-organizationsaround the region gathered in the twin-island state. Logos of which drew positive public and water operators from were on display There photographic displa ious CAWASA Logos of the various CAWASA public utilities and member-organizations was an interesting photographic display on exhibit was an interesting on exhibit public utilities and member-organizations were on display utilitiesThere were on display There was an interesting photographic display ious CAWASA public utilities and member-organizations were on display There was an interesting photographic display on exhibit Logos of the various CAWASA public utilities and member-organizations were on display There was an interesting photographic display on exhibit HD Supply products HD Supply took the opportunity to Supply their various water took the opportunity to water products gramme Officer Suzanne Joseph at the CAWASA Programme Officer Suzanne Joseph at the conference took the opportunity to advertise their variousadvertise their various wate conference HD advertise CAWASA Programme Officer Suzanne Joseph at the conference Water Operators Conference in Antigua 2013 Antiguan Students get A Treat - By Tecla Fontenard, Communications Specialist, OECS–RRACC Project -   Seventy students from two Primary statements on the global phenomenon, with Schools in Antigua paid a visit to a climate one boy student questioning why is it that change exhibition set up by the OECS- smoke and exhaust from fossil fuels don't RRACC team at the Jolly Beach Hotel. The just disperse into the infinite atmosphere. HD Supply took the opportunity to advertise their various water products gramme Officer Suzanne Joseph at the conference exhibition was set up for two days from “Why would a buildup of fumes be standJune 27-28, 2013, on the occasion of the 3rd ing still in the atmosphere?”, he challenged. annual meeting of the Caribbean Waste Wa-   The students were a mix of boys and ter and Sewerage Authority (CAWASA). girls with an age range of 10-13 years. Af  During the schools’ visits, students were ter browsing the exhibits, students were engaged in discussions on issues related to quizzed on various aspects of climate the impacts of climate change in the OECS, change and were gifted with branded merand measures being taken to reduce such chandise from the RRACC Project such as impacts. Discussions also focused on efforts pencils, jotters, exercise books, caps etc. CAWASA Programme Officer Suzanne Joseph at the conference to help HD Supply took the phenomenon. to  advertise their various water products citizens cope with the opportunity The exhibition provided a perfect setting The animated students showed great curi- for dialoguing and sharing knowledge on Communications Specialist for Climate Change at the OECS, osity and interest in the climate change dia- climate change, as well as on the RRACC Tecla Fontenard (left) with students at the Exhibition on Climate Change logue, some even challenging the scientific Project. held in Antigua during the June Water Operators Conference. Waste Water Re-Use– A Caribbean Imperative W - by Tecla Fontenard, Communications Specialist, RRACC Project, OECS Secretariat - hen we think of wastewater, we immediately begin to conjure up thoughts of repulsion and distaste, but wastewater is the flip side of water, say scientists at the third annual meeting of the Caribbean Waste Water and Sewerage Authority (CAWASA), which was held in Antigua and Barbuda at the end of June 2013. During the regional meeting, which focused on “What Are We Drinking?” the scientists asserted that the common behaviour of treating wastewater as the “poor cousin of water” is not only a misjudgement but it is backward. The importance of understanding wastewater not only brings new significance to water management and distribution, but provides the seedlings for wide explorations in the re- use possibilities of wastewater for the benefit of today’s eco-system.   In light of current stresses on water resources, brought on by poor human practices, degraded environments, and the changing climate, everyone can do with innovative ways to identify and access new water sources.   For centuries, countries have fought over oil, but if water sources continue to deplete, ‘the new war will be about water’, says Saint Lucian based Wastewater Specialist, Francis Isidore. Speaking during a brief interview with Communications Specialist of the OECSRRACC Project following the meeting, Isidore said that “Water is life, but sanitation is dignity”, and understanding the link between the two is a critical factor in water re-use.
  5. 5. January to June 2013 | Vols. 11 & 2 (Special Edition) January to June 2013 | Vols. & 2 (Special Edition) e-Source e-Source Page 5 Page 9 CAWASA Secretariat News Caribbean Water Operators Networked and Competed in Antigua! Tough Competitors and Deserving Winners! TOP: Water Operators from across the region pit their wits and professional skills against each other in friendly but fierce competition on the sidelines of their 2013 Caribbean Water Operators Conference in Antigua and Barbuda. BOTTOM: Following the contest of skills and the decisions of the judges and jury, the winners were announced – all from the OECS and Windward islands -- each of whom were justly prized for emerging a cut above the rest. 1st Place: 1st Place Winner Antigua and Barbuda 2nd Place: 2nd Place Winner St. Kitts and Nevis 3rd Place: St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines 3rd Place Winner 4th Place: Dominica 4th Place Winner
  6. 6. e-Source Page 6 January to June 2013 | Vols. 1 & 2 (Special Edition) CAWASA Secretariat News Caribbean delegates landed at Maripasula for the week-long Cayenne Water Week. (At right is CAWASA Program Officer Suzanne Joseph). Caribbean delegates preparing to board a canoe for a rive ride to Cayenne's Tenwrke Amerindian village. Caribbean delegates preparing to board a canoe for a river ride to Cayenne's Tenwrke Amerindian village. Caribbean delegates aboard another canoe for another Cayenne river ride, this time along the Maroni River. Caribbean delegates from several English, French and Dutch-speaking islands and territories participated in a week of water activities on the banks of Cayenne’s Maroni River. They had been invited by President of the Communaute D’Agglomeration de Centre Littoral (CACL) Cayenne, Rodolphe Alexandre, to the 11th Water Week celebrations in Cayenne from April 22-16, 2013. Photos show delegates taking in the the rare experiences of a Creole-speaking Caribbean community in South America. Photos show delegates taking in rare experiences of a French Creole-speaking Caribbean community in South America. An Amerindian villager in Tenwrke offers a Caribbean delegate a lesson on the native process of making farine, a staple indigenous food. CAWASA delgates gathered up-river in Tenwrke for interior water lessons. CAWASA delegates entering a Cayenne Amerindian village after a long but interesting up-river boat ride.
  7. 7. January to June 2013 | Vols. 1 & 2 (Special Edition) e-Source CAWASA Secretariat News Page 7 A Tribute to Mr. Denis Yearwood, Retired General Manager of the Barbados Water Authority By Engineer Stephen Lindo “Retire from work, but not from life.” - M.K. Soni The Board of Directors’, Management and Staff of the Barbados Water Authority wish to congratulate Mr. Denis Kenmore Yearwood, our retiring General Manager, on a wonderful career spanning forty-one (41) years at the institution. He spent the last 21 of those years at the helm of the organisation as its CEO, and dedicated himself to leading the organisation down a successful path with integrity and compassion. Denis, the second of two children, was raised in a sparsely populated rustic village situated in the most northerly parish of the island, St. Lucy, called Rock Hall.Like most Barbadians of his era, the pursuit of excellence in education was the hallmark of his family’s aspirations and he worked hard to achieve academic success. Mr. Yearwood attended the Coleridge and Parry Secondary School in St. Peter and continued his education at Harrison College in Bridgetown to complete his six form education. It was there that he excelled in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry and was awarded the prestigious Barbados Scholarship in the year 1969. After completing his undergraduate studies at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, in Trinidad and Tobago, he was awarded the Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering with Honours. Yearwood returned to Barbados and joined the public service in 1972 and was assigned to work at the then Waterworks Department as an engineer in the operations and maintenance section located at Bowmanston, St. John under the tutelage of engineer Denis Yearwood Retired General Manager of the Barbados Water Authority Ambrose Johnson. Mr. Johnson was soon promoted to perform the role of Deputy Chief Engineer and young Yearwood, fresh out of university, was entrusted with the task of managing the entire operations at Bowmanston. He had responsibility for managing and operating of all pump stations, pumping equipment and reservoirs on the island. Mr. Yearwood’s thirst for education continued and he became the recipient of a Peter Moores Scholarship awarded through BIMAP to attend Strathclyde University School of Business in Scotland. There he pursued post graduate studies in Management and when on to obtain a Masters degree in Business Administration. Mr. Yearwood is also a chartered professional engineer having been admitted to Membership of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, UK. It was evident, therefore, that Mr. Yearwood’s naturally sharp and inspired mind had been thoroughly furnished with great ideas and good work ethics associated with a professional engineer and a trained manager. Denis leaves an expansive legacy of achievements as General Manager of the Barbados Water Authority; he oversaw the: • Introduction of Universal Metering on the island - 1996; • Establishment of Barbados’ first Desalination Plant at Spring Garden 1999; • Comprehensive Review and Overhaul of Barbados’ Groundwater Protection and Zoning Policy Study; • Water Resources and Water Loss Study - 1996; • Design of the West Coast Sewerage Project - 2003; • Replacement and installation of several miles of water mains island wide; • Introduction of plastic pipes such as “poly blue” pipe for service connections to replace galvanized and lead pipes; • Commencement of the new Barbados Water Headquarters’ Building at the Pine; • Commissioning of the Water and Sanitation Projects with financing from the Inter-American Development Bank; • Full computerization of Customer Services, Finance Departments of the BWA, Technical Sections and much more. Denis’ achievements went a long way towards the development of water resource management in Barbados. Under him Barbados’ water supply became one of the most reliable in the Caribbean. Mr. Yearwood espoused a respect for all persons and he was compassionate and accommodating to his staff and the public at large. He performed his daily tasks with honesty and a meticulous attention to detail, and accepted nothing less from his managers. His legacy will be an enlightening experience for young career aspirants to emulate, as he has clearly demonstrated how one can rise to a higher position in a career and succeed through sheer dedication, commitment and hard work. Denis always bore an infectious smile which permeated the office while he went about his daily deliberations; that smile stood out as a benchmark of this unassuming gentleman’s characteristics as a professional. His 41 continuous years of service to the Barbados Water Authority speaks volumes to his commitment to the organization and to the country as a whole. We at the Barbados Water Authority look back upon Mr. Yearwood’s career with a sense of great pride and accomplishment; we want to take this opportunity to thank him for his resolute contribution to the organization and to wish him a happy retirement filled with fun and good health! To his wife Pauline we say take good care of him. Why are wetlands so important to preserve? -- by Patricia Mancuso, Erie, PA Wetlands include swamps, marshes, bogs, riverbanks, mangroves, floodplains, rice fields -- and anywhere else, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), that saturation with water is the dominant factor determining the nature of soil development and the types of plant and animal communities there. They are widespread in every country and on every continent except Antarctica. If all the world’s wetlands were put together, they would take up an area one-third larger than the United States. Environmentalists, biologists and others concerned about the health of the planet and its inhabitants recognize the key role wetlands play in life on Earth. The EPA points out that, besides containing a disproportionately high number of plant and animal species compared to other land forms, wetlands serve a variety of ecological services including feeding downstream waters, trapping floodwaters, recharging groundwater supplies, removing pollution and providing fish and wildlife habitat. Wetlands can also be key drivers of local economies, given their importance to agriculture, recreation and fishing. According to Wetlands International, a global non-profit dedicated to the conservation and restoration of wetlands around the world, wetlands are on the “front-line” as development pressures increase everywhere. “Wetlands are vulnerable to over-exploitation due to their abundance of fish, fuel and water,” reports the group, which works on the ground in 18 countries to educate the public and policymakers about the health of local wetlands and to advocate for better policies. “When they are viewed as unproductive or marginal lands, wetlands are targeted for drainage and conversion.” “The rate of loss and deterioration of wetlands is accelerating in all regions of the world,” the group adds. “The pressure on wetlands is likely to intensify in the coming decades due to increased global demand for land and water, as well as climate change.” The widespread expansion of development in the US in recent decades has brought the issue of wetlands loss to the forefront of debates on zoning and land use planning. One of the key and underlying issues is concern about endangered species: More than a third of species on the US Endangered Species List live only in wetlands and almost half use them at some time during their lifecycles. While the issue lingers on in municipal planning meetings around the country, the federal government does what it can to protect wetlands. It does so through regulations spelled out in the Clean Water Act, which include providing tax incentives for selling or giving wetlands to land trusts or other conservation groups, via cooperative efforts with state and local entities, and by acquiring wetlands outright to add acreage to public lands systems. And several states have passed laws to regulate activities in wetlands, and many municipalities include wetlands conservation in their development permitting and zoning processes. Readers can do their part by staying current on local zoning laws, keeping an eye on local wetlands and speaking up if something looks amiss. Potential problems are much easier to resolve early on than after damage is done, so speaking up soon can often lead to more successful and less contentious outcomes.
  8. 8. e-Source Page 8 January to June 2013 | Vols. 1 & 2 (Special Edition) Dominica launches US$7.4 million water project Dominica has launched an US$7.4 million water upgrade project that the authorities said would benefit thousands of residents and consumers in the north, east and south of the country. The Mero to Castle Comfort project dubbed “The Third Water Supply Project Water Area-1 (WA-1) Network Upgrade” the project and is being funded by a US $6.1 million loan from the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the Dominica government and the Dominica Water and Sewerage Company (DOWASCO). The CDB also gave a US$150,000 grant for technical study and capacity building. Speaking at the launch of the 42-month project in early April, DOWASCO Board of Directors member, Kay Robinson said the area is affected by turbidity and the project will assist in alleviating that problem. Housing, Lands, Settlements and Water Resources Management Minister, Reginald Austrie, used the launch of the project to urge nationals to review water resource manage ment. “WA-1 is frequently compromised by extreme turbidity levels that are often accompanied by extreme rainfall in these areas and we have seen a worsening of this in recent times. This results in frequent closures of the intake since the existing treatment facility is inadequate and storage is insufficient.” The project comprises of three major areas: construction of a new intake at the Checkhall river approximately two kilometeres upstream from the existing intake; the upgrade of the network transmission and distribution system; construction of two distribution storage tanks of 100,000 gallons at Massacre and 250,000 gallons at Antrim; the upgrade of the existing Springfield intake; the Antrim filtration plant and the setting up of a leak detection and repair program. It will also include ancillary work comprising of the access road and foot path to the new Checkhall intake. Robinson noted that there will be various benefits will be derived from the project. “Several benefits mainly improved water quality due to a relocated source and upgrade of the treatment plant, and consumers will be able to enjoy a more reliable water supply with mini- mal interruptions many major socio economic benefits,” she noted. Housing, Lands, Settlements and Water Resources Management Minister, Reginald Austrie, used the launch of the project to urge nationals to review water resource management. “We continue to repeat and to say that we have 365 rivers… I am not sure when the last count was made but we might have a reduction in the number of rivers that we claim to have and I believe that is an awareness that we have carry across the country and we have to use all the institutions available to get that information across,” he said. WA-1 is the largest out of 43 water areas island-wide servicing essential services including the Princess Margaret Hospital and various schools. It accounts for 48 percent of total water consumption. Water Taxi service launched in Bermuda A new water taxi service has been launched in Bermuda, offering service across the Island Bermuda Water Taxi, operated by Captain Ashley Simmons, is hoped to provide another option for the public to travel between Dockyard, St George’s and Hamilton. Capt Simmons said: “After witnessing ferries and buses transporting visitors around Bermuda, the idea came to me about offering an alternative mode of transportation with a difference. “With a water taxi, tourists and locals can call for the taxi when needed or can make reservations for a pickup. The water taxi is for anyone who would like a relaxing ride to their destination, while learning about the history of our beautiful Island.” The service will run between Dockyard and St George’s, Dockyard and Hamilton, and throughout the Great Sound. It operates between the hours of 8am to 7pm daily with run times of 15 and 25 minutes for a cost of $10 to $20 depending on the destination. Efforts at Enhancing Water-based Tourism Product S t. Lucia’s Ministry of Tourism, Heritage and Creative Industries continues to improve the quality of the water-based tourism services and the sites and attractions sectors through training in better emergency response preparedness. This is one of the many activities undertaken by the Ministry to continue enhancing the quality of the Saint Lucian Tourism Product. Approximately 30 participants in each sub-sector receive training in June in Multi-hazard Contingency Planning Business Continuity Planning. Some of the areas participants learned about included: Introduction to the Structure of Disaster Manage- ment in Saint Lucia-(Business Continuity and Multi-Hazard Contingency Planning for the National Tourism Sector); Introduction to Business Continuity Planning and Management; Fire Response and Preparedness; Awareness of the Standard for the Water-based Tourism Sector. Participants were expected develop or update their own business continuity plans, to be reviewed and endorsed by NEMO and endorsement for enlistment on Saint Lucia Tourist Board’s Website. This training is the collaborative effort of the Ministry and its industry partners and the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO). Water Taxis are popular and essential for visitor travel within Caribbean destinations and efforts are under way on several islands to improve the product overall. St St. Lucians reminded to ‘always be prepared’ for Drought prepared’ for drought The Saint Lucia Meteorology Services confirms that the drought conditions experienced earlier are over, whilst predicting above normal rainfall for the coming months. Earlier this year authorities had declared a dry spell after recording significant reductions in rainfall for the period December to February. Signals were sent across the island for Saint Lucians to conserve water amidst lingering fears of a possible repeat of the drought of 2010. However, April came with heavy and continuous rainfall, alleviating the concerns of many who had already experienced water rationing. Director of Met Services Thomas Auguste reveals that the month of April recorded historic rainfall. He said, “Actually in April the to- tal rainfall recorded at Vigie Airport is the highest that we ever recorded since we began keeping record in 1967 and at Hewanorra we had the third highest since 1973. “We have officially declared that the drought is over and the forecast for the next 3 – 4 month is normal to above normal rainfall.” The rainfall recorded at George F.L. Charles Airport was 343mm and at Hewanorra International Airport 277.7 mm. Saint Lucians were encouraged to start taking all the necessary precaution ahead of this hurricane season. According to Mr Auguste, “Looking at the increased rainfall in recent times and looking forward to the hurricane season, we believe that there is going to be a very high probability of flooding and landslides during the hurricane season. “And since it is a very active season and we have had so much rainfall preceding the start of the season (which is June 1st), the alert right now is for people to be very cautious going into the hurricane season, because of the high probability of landslides due to heavy rainfall.” These developments are quite in tune with the global trend of irregular weather patterns and the worsening climatic conditions. The Saint Lucia Met Services says it will continue to monitor the weather and calls on Saint Lucians – and their Caribbean neighbours -- to do the same.
  9. 9. January to June 2013 | Vols. 1 & 2 (Special Edition) e-Source Page 9
  10. 10. Page 10 e-Source January to June 2013 | Vols. 1 & 2 (Special Edition) World Water Day celebrations and High Level Forum held in the Netherlands The World Water Day celebrations organized by the United Nations and the Government of The Netherlands on March 23rd in The Hague addressed both water cooperation and the outcomes from the Thematic Consultation on Water in the post-2015 agenda. The programme of the day involved political and governmental leaders and members of the UN High Level Panel on the Post 2015 Development Agenda, and included inspirational speeches, presentations and interactive discussions. A series of thematic sessions also gave the opportunity to reflect on the different dimensions of water cooperation, and brought new ideas and innovative approaches from different sectors of society. Challenges identified on 21 March at the Multi-stakeholder Dialogue on Water organized by the Dutch Government were incorporated in the thematic sessions CEHI warns host country: Water resources in a precarious state! In observance of World Water Day 2013 the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute (CEHI) warned host country that St. Lucia's water resources were “in a precarious state.” CEHI, which is located in Castries, said “poor land use practices within watersheds that include deforestation and pollution of rivers” had left them with “reduced flows and often times leaden with silt and other contaminants.” CEHI said in its message to mark the occasion, "Watershed degradation has direct impacts on the quality of water that we rely on for drinking. “Climate change is expected to worsen the situation as rainfall patterns are expected to change, with droughts becoming more severe and prolonged, and during the hurricane season, storms and hurricanes are expected to increase in intensity causing damage to our fragile water supply systems. "Combined with all of these challenges we often waste water as we do not appreciate its true value. The little value we place on water is directly contributory to the issues that our lone water utility faces in terms of adequately meeting the costs it takes to produce water and deliver it safely to our homes and businesses". With the current drought conditions being experienced and on the eve of the Commemoration of World Water Day on March 22, it was a good time "to reflect on our water issues and what we need to do to make out country more water secure", CEHI said. The United Nations has designated the year 2013 as the International Year for Water Cooperation and in commemoration, countries are encouraged to celebrate their efforts at solving the world's water problems through collaborative efforts amongst all partners; the local community, government, the private sector, water and sewerage service providers, water sector financiers, regional and international technical and donor agencies. As part of activities to mark World Water Day, a Symposium on Water was held in Castries organized jointly by the CEHI, the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association and the Caribbean Water and Sewerage Association, in association with the Ministry of Sustainable Development. sions that involve all relevant actors, from investors to users,” she continued. World Water Day Message from UN Water Cooperation for peace, prosperity and sustainable development. Cooperating around this precious resource is key for security, poverty eradication, social equity and gender equality. “Water is central to the well-being of people and the planet," Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in his video message for the International Year of Water Cooperation 2013. "We must work together to protect and carefully manage this fragile, finite resource." Every action involving water management and use requires effective cooperation between multiple actors, whether at the local or the international scale. In recognition of this reality, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 to be the International Year of Water Cooperation, following a proposal from a group of Member States led by Tajikistan. World Water Day, celebrated on 22 March, is dedicated to the same theme this year. UNESCO, in collaboration with UNECE and UN DESA, is leading activities for both the Year and the Day on behalf of UN Water. Today, over 780 million people do not have access to improved sources of drinking water and 2.5 billion people are without improved sanitation. Population growth associated with changing consumption patterns, especially in cities, is driving an increase in water demand. Our lifestyles are more water-hungry. With the world population expected to grow from a little over 7 billion today to 8 billion by 2025, water withdrawals should increase by 50 per- The fulfillment of basic human needs, the environment, socio economic development and poverty reduction are all dependent on water. cent in developing countries and by 18 percent in developed countries. Water for irrigation and food production constitutes one of the greatest pressures on freshwater resources. An estimated 148 states share a basin with one or several countries, which is a potential source of conflict, as actions upstream have impacts on downstream countries. The Danube, for example, is shared by 19 countries, and the Nile River by 11. Water overextraction, diversion, pollution,scarcity and the neglect of existing agreements are often at the roots of water tensions. “Governments must commit to finding inclusive and cooperative solutions to water challenges,” said Ms Irina Bokova in her messages on the occasion of World Water Day. “For this, we must take deci- A new UN Water analytical brief on water security released today on the occasion of World Water Day underlines that numerous examples from across the globe demonstrate that shared waters provide opportunities for cooperation across nations and support political dialogue on broader issues such as regional economic integration, environmental conservation, and sustainable development. Cooperation mechanisms can vary in terms of decisionmaking structures, levels of participation, and rules and regulations,but the principle remains the same: when water resources are cooperatively shared and managed, peace, prosperity and sustainable development are more likely to be achieved. Cooperation can help overcome inequity and prevent conflicts, and thus contribute to poverty eradication, socio-economic development and improve living conditions and educational chances, especially of women and children. Once again, UN-Water has awarded two projects that contribute to the fulfilment of international commitments made on water and water-related issues this year. The UN Water "Water for Life" Best Practices Award was given to a project implemented in the city of Kumamoto in Japan for the conservation of groundwater resources and to the “Safe Water and Sanitation for All” initiative in the Republic of Moldova, aimed at improving coverage in rural areas of the country. The Rio+20 outcome document identifies water as a key area for achieving sustainable development. “The International Year of Water Cooperation is in fact providing excellent opportunities for engagement and dialogue in the UN System and among Member States on all waterrelated issues in the context of the Rio+20 outcomes and moving towards 2015,” said Mr Michel Jarraud in his keynote at the World Water Day celebrations in The Hague, The Netherlands. World Water Day and the International Year of Water Cooperation certainly give us the opportunity to reflect on the benefits of cooperation and promote increased cooperation at all levels for the management and use of Water resources as a way to achieve sustainable development. ‘We are only the custodians of this Planet!’ World Water Day Message from the St. Lucia Water Resources Management Agency The Water Resources Management Agency (WRMA) of the Ministry of Sustainable. Development, Energy, Science and Technology and the rest of the world today celebrates World Water Day under theme “Water Cooperation”. The observance of World Water Day is an initiative that grew out of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio De Janerio, Brazil. Coming out of this conference, the UN General Assembly designated March 22nd of each year as the World Water Day. At its 58th session the UN proclaimed that the years 20052015 as the International Decade for Action with a special focus on the participation on women. Member states devote this day to implement some of the UN recommendations and to organize activities as deemed appropriate in the local context. Water Cooperation, on the international plain, would mean cooperation for peace, security, sustainable development and the environment, cooperation for poverty alleviation and universal access to clean potable water for all. In the St. Lucian context, the problem that we are grappling with as it relates to water cooperation is that of water pollution which generally stems from the improper disposal waste and waste water or bad land management practices which leads to a reduction our water quality and quantity. The world has enough water to quench its 7 billion people’s thirst. What we at WRMA are asking is for all of us to cooperate and adhere to the global principles including our own Water and Sewerage Act No. 14, 2005 which governs our local water resources. We need to be mindful of the end users, we need not pollute our waterways, for our society, fauna and flora depends on it for its sustainability and by extension our survival. Over the last few years, trans- boundary water management has ended up in major disputes between rival nations so this year’s theme is quite apt in that it is seeking to build respect, mutual understanding and trust amongst neighbour’s thereby promoting peace whilst encouraging economic and social growth. So, as we place attention on today’s commemoration, WRMA is imploring St Lucians and persons throughout the region to conserve our water resources, use it sparingly, harvest rain water where and when possible, try to develop the culture of re-use for in doing so we are in fact training the next generation of water users the healthy habit of water conservation practices particularly now as we are seemingly facing a looming water scarcity issue. Remember, we didn’t just inherit this planet from our forefathers we are only the custodians for our children and grand children.
  11. 11. January to June 2013 | Vols. 1 & 2 (Special Edition) Page 11 e-Source 2013: International Year of Water Cooperation All About International Water Cooperation Year In December 2010, following the proposal initiated by Tajikistan and submitted by a group of countries, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 as the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) was appointed by UNWater to lead the preparations for both the 2013 International Year of Water Cooperation and the World Water Day, in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and with the support of the United Nations Depart- ment of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC) and the UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC). UN-Water has called upon UNESCO to lead the 2013 International Year 1 of Water Cooperation in view of the organization’s multi-dimensional mandate in the realm of natural and social sciences, culture, education and communication, and its significant and long-standing contribution to the management of the world’s freshwater resources. Water Cooperation: What’s it all about? The fulfillment of basic human needs, our environment, socio-economic development and poverty reduction are all heavily dependent on water. Good management of water is especially challenging due to some of its unique characteristics: it is unevenly distributed in time and space, the hydrological cycle is highly complex and perturbations have multiple effects. Rapid urbanization, pollution and climate change threaten the resource while demands for water are increasing in order to satisfy the needs of a growing world population, now at over seven billion people, for food production, energy, industrial and domestic uses. Water is a shared re- source and its management needs to take into account a wide variety of conflicting interests. This provides opportunities for cooperation among users. In designating 2013 as the UN International Year of Water Cooperation, the UNGA recognizes that cooperation is essential to strike a balance between the different needs and priorities and share this precious resource equitably, using water as an instrument of peace. Promoting water cooperation implies an interdisciplinary approach bringing in cultural, educational and scientific factors, as well as religious, ethical, social, political, legal, institutional and economic dimensions. Mutual trust and understanding community needs key for successful water cooperation Mutual trust and understanding the real needs of communities have been emphasized as key factors for successful water cooperation by the participants of the International UN-Water Conference on water cooperation which took place from 8 to 10 January in Zaragoza, Spain. The participants shared a wide range of initiatives, including experiences in rural and urban areas, and cases at country and basin level, to identify lessons learned and key success factors. The need for cooperation was highlighted as critical for sustainable water management. Micro-irrigation practices and experiences from water user associations and small communities in Peru, Kenya, Guatemala, Bolivia, Madagascar, Ethiopia and India, examples of multisectoral collaboration in different cities around the world, and partnerships between public and private actors have been discussed. Cases from Kenya and Bolivia demonstrated that the existence of a legal framework to support the creation of collective water management is important but it is implementation which is determinant. To actually realize cooperative water management, the implementation of a system of incentives and penalties is also required. While political will enables the development of laws and regulations, implementation should come from local organizations and institutions. Identifying appropriate solutions can be hampered by differences in perceptions, as demonstrated by specific cases in Peru and Kenya, where projects failed because irrigation technologies were imposed without taking into consideration traditional practices and perspectives. While financing is important and water user associations are often created through development cooperation funds, it should be complemented by cooperation and mutual support between sectors and users to become sustainable. “Trust forms the foundation on which the house of water cooperation can be built. We should invest in gen- erating trust” declared Victor Viñuales, director of the Spanish NGO Ecology and Development (ECODES), who has participated in this conference. Overexploitation of aquifers was one of the other main themes in which the collective management by organizations such as water user associations has been recognized as essential. In cases such as the aquifer of the Bajo Llobregat in Spain, the fact that all stakeholder felt the urgent need for cooperation was the key success factor for sustainable basin management. Presenters of this and other cases emphasized the importance of building relationships between water user communities and authorities based on mutual respect and avoiding paternalistic attitudes. According to Brice Lalonde, Executive Coordinator of Rio+20 at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs “We are entering the era of water reuse. Particularly in cities, water reuse is imperative”. Learning how to cooperate to recycle water among different users and sectors is crucial for provid- ing access to safe sanitation to the 2.6 billion people who are currently lacking this basic service. On the last day of the Conference, the Spanish case was analyzed. International participants gained insights on participatory processes implemented in the Ebro River Basin with the Basin Authority model as an example which can inspire other countries. Other shared examples of cooperation and collaboration between organizations included the Spanish Cooperation Fund for Water and Sanitation, and a number of solidarity projects and participatory processes in the regions of Aragon and Navarra in Spain. Political will, legal frameworks, accountability and institutional structures provide a solid foundation for water cooperation. “Achieving water cooperation is the result of a long term process which requires time, patience and mutual trust” summarized Josefina Maestu, director of the UN Office to support the International Decade for Action ‘Water for Life’ 2005-2015 when closing the Conference.
  12. 12. e-Source Page 12 January to June 2013 | Vols. 1 & 2 (Special Edition) WORLDWIDE WATER Facts and Figures An increasing demand • The cost of adapting to the impacts of a 2°C rise in global average temperature could range from US$70 to $100 billion per year between 2020 and 2050 (World Bank, 2010). Of this cost, between US$13.7 billion (drier scenario) and $19.2 billion (wetter scenario) will be related to water, predominantly through water supply and flood management. A resource without borders 85% of the world population lives in the driest half of the planet. • 783 million people do not have access to clean water and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation. • 6 to 8 million people die annually from the consequences of disasters and waterrelated diseases. • Various estimates indicate that, based on business as usual, ~3.5 planets Earth would be needed to sustain a global population achieving the current lifestyle of the average European or North American. • Global population growth projections of 2–3 billion people over the next 40 years, combined with changing diets, result in a predicted increase in food demand of 70% by 2050. • Over half of the world population lives in urban areas, and the number of urban dwellers grows each day. Urban areas, although better served than rural areas, are struggling to keep up with population growth (WHO/UNICEF, 2010). • With expected increases in population, by 2030, food demand is predicted to increase by 50% (70% by 2050) (Bruinsma, 2009), while energy demand from hydropower and other renewable energy resources will rise by 60% (WWAP, 2009). These issues are interconnected – increasing agricultural output, for example, will substantially increase both water and energy consumption, leading to increased competition for water between water-using sectors. • Water availability is expected to decrease in many regions. Yet future global agricultural water consumption alone is estimated to increase by ~19% by 2050, and will be even greater in the absence of any technological progress or policy intervention. • Water for irrigation and food production constitutes one of the greatest pressures on freshwater resources. Agriculture accounts for ~70% of global freshwater withdrawals (up to 90% in some fast-growing economies). • Economic growth and individual wealth are shifting diets from predominantly starch-based to meat and dairy, which require more water. Producing 1 kg of rice, for example, requires ~3,500 L of water, 1 kg of beef ~15,000 L, and a cup of coffee ~140 L (Hoekstra and Chapagain, 2008). This dietary shift is the greatest to impact on water consumption over the past 30 years, and is likely to continue well into the middle of the twenty-first century (FAO, 2006). • About 66% of Africa is arid or semi-arid and more than 300 of the 800 million people in sub-Saharan Africa live in a water-scarce environment – meaning that they have less than 1,000 m3 per capita (NEPAD, 2006). The impact of climate change • The IPCC predicts with high confidence that water stress will increase in central and southern Europe, and that by the 2070s, the number of people affected will rise from 28 million to 44 million. Summer flows are likely to drop by up to 80% in southern Europe and some parts of central and Eastern Europe. Europe’s hydropower potential is expected to drop by an average of 6%, but rise by 20–50% around the Mediterranean by 2070 (Alcamo et al., 2007). • Water is not confined to political borders. An estimated 148 states have international basins within their territory (OSU, n.d., 2008 data), and 21 countries lie entirely within them (OSU, n.d, 2002 data). • There are 276 transboundary river basins in the world (64 transboundary river basins in Africa, 60 in Asia, 68 in Europe, 46 in North America and 38 in South America). • 185 out of the 276 transboundary river basins, about two-thirds, are shared by two countries. 256 out of 276 are shared by 2, 3 or 4 countries (92,7%), and 20 out of 276 are shared by 5 or more countries (7,2%), the maximum being 18 countries sharing a same transboundary river basin (Danube). • 46% of the globe’s (terrestrial) surface is covered by transboundary river basins. • 148 countries include territory within one or more transboundary river basins. 39 countries have more than 90% of their territory within one or more transboundary river basins, and 21 lie entirely within one or more of these watersheds. • Russian Federation shares 30 transboundary river basins with riparian countries, Chile and United States 19, Argentina and China 18, Canada 15, Guinea 14, Guatemala 13, and France 10. • Africa has about one-third of the world’s major international water basins – basins larger than 100,000 km2. Virtually all sub-Saharan African countries, and Egypt, share at least one international water basin. Depending on how they are counted, there are between 63 (UNEP, 2010b) and 80 (UNECA, 2000) transboundary river and lake basins on the African continent. • Rich nations are tending to maintain or increase their consumption of natural resources (WWF, 2010), but are exporting their footprints to producer, and typically, poorer, nations. European and North American populations consume a considerable amount of virtual water embedded in imported food and products. Each person in North America and Europe (excluding former Soviet Union countries) consumes at least 3 m3 per day of virtual water in imported food, compared to 1.4 m3 per day in Asia and 1.1 m3 per day in Africa (Zimmer and Renault, n.d.). • Land grabbing is another increasingly common phenomenon. Saudi Arabia, one of the Middle East’s largest cereal growers, announced it would cut cereal production by 12% a year to reduce the unsustainable use of groundwater. To protect its water and food security, the Saudi government issued incentives to Saudi corporations to lease large tracts of land in Africa for agricultural production. By investing in Africa to produce its staple crops, Saudi Arabia is saving the equivalent of hundreds of millions of gallons of water per year and reducing the rate of depletion of its fossil aquifers. • Nearly all Arab countries suffer from water scarcity. An estimated 66% of the Arab region’s available surface freshwater originates outside the region. Pollution • The treatment of wastewater requires significant amounts of energy, and demand for energy to do this is expected to increase globally by 44% between 2006 and 2030 (IEA, 2009), especially in non-OECD countries where wastewater currently receives little or no treatment (Corcoran et al., 2010). • Pollution knows no borders either. Up to 90% of wastewater in developing countries flows untreated into rivers, lakes and highly productive coastal zones, threatening health, food security and access to safe drinking and bathing water Over 80% of used water worldwide is not collected or treated (Corcoran et al., 2010). Cooperation, a contrasted reality • There are numerous examples where transboundary waters have proved to be a source of cooperation rather than conflict. Nearly 450 agreements on international waters were signed between 1820 and 2007 (OSU, 2007). • Over 90 international water agreements were drawn up to help manage shared water basins on the African continent (UNEP, 2010).
  13. 13. Page 14 to June 2013 Vols. 1 & 2 (Special Edition) January e-Source e-Source Page 13 January to June 2013 | Vols. 1 & 2 (Special Edition) Rate Increases with Popular Participation How one Caribbean Government brought water rates up-to-date government brought water rates up to date after 13 years with hardly a sweat, a tear - or even a protest! after 13 years with hardly a sweat, at tear -- or even a protest! Saint Lucians are paying more for water – much more, they will tell you, as Water rates have gone up 66.15% and Sewerage rates up by 50.8%. Whopping figures, you will say. But it’s also the very first increase awarded to the local Water and Sewage Company (WASCO). For over a dozen years the island’s publicly owned company has been going deeper and deeper into the red, only to be rescued every year by the Government. Efforts were made to privatize WASCO, but plans ran into legal problems following a change of government in 2006. Another government change in 2011 removed privatization off the board, opting instead for joint Public/Private participation. WASCO’s finances were killed by a growing number of defaulters not paying bills and water being stolen through illegal connections. The company was always unable to pay its monthly electricity bills and normal salary demands grew after the union representing workers successfully negotiated a 10% wage increase. Last December, with Christmas approaching, workers took strike action to press for payment of their increases, forcing the company to turn to the government for yet another bailout. The government took the bull by the horns and engaged the mechanism to determine whether the company deserved a rate increase and how to go about it. WASCO submitted its proposals and justification arguments to the island’s Water and Sewerage Commission – which oversees developments in the water sector, which then invited the public to comment on the proposals – and called for consumers to also get involved in the exercise, to help determine how much they will pay for water. Following the period of national consultation, the Commission deliberated on all the submission and suggestions and recommendations and considered all the arguments. It then announced that the existing rate structure for Water was “changed” and the increase requested by WASCO for Sewerage was “reduced”. Under the new structure, the overall rate for water would see 55.72% of the 66.15% go towards water, while the rest (10.43%) will go towards the dredging of the massive John Compton Dam at Roseau, which WASCO is also responsible for. Dredging of the heavily-silted dam is expected to be completed within two years, but if it is to continue after the allocated two years, WASCO would have to justify that continuation. It means that after the completion of the dredging, the 10.43% would be knocked off the water rate, reducing it to 55.72%. The commission also dictated that any dredging would have to undergo “competitive bidding”. The Roseau Dam has remained largely clogged since Hurricane Tomas and requires a massive de-silting operation that will cost more than the company will ever be able to afford under the old rates. Regarding Sewerage rates, the originally proposed 140.30% was reduced to 50.8% after final comments from the public, to avoid a public “rate shock”. Based on data provided by WASCO, the Commission sought to determine the rate and the revenue requirement of the company, which it placed at EC $60,546,307.00 per annum. It therefore awarded increases it felt would meet the company’s needs, but also sought certain public guarantees from the company. The following new rates were agreed: • Domestic – the first 3,000 gallons (which previously cost EC $7.35) was increased by $4.86 (66.15%) to $12.21. • In excess of 3,000 gallons (originally EC $15.00) now costs EC $9.42. • The minimum charge for 2,000 gallons was EC $14.70 and is now EC $24.42. • Commercial/Industrial Water: The former price per 1,000 gallons was $20.00 and the new tariff is EC$33.23. • Hotels paid EC$22.00 per 1,000 gallons the new rate is EC$36.55. • Government paid $14 per 1,000 gallons, but the new rate is EC$66.46. • Ships -- which are charged the highest rates -- paid EC$40.00 per 1,000 gallons, but the new rate is EC $66.46. The Commission held discussions with the Minister for Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology regarding Service Standards for WASCO and indicated it wanted the Water and Sewerage (Service Standards) Regulations “enacted without delay.” Following the new rate increases, WASCO also now has to submit quarterly reports to the Commission with the following information: Non-revenue water, outstanding debts (inac- tive customers), information on the government’s Amnesty Programme (to benefit defaulters), staffing information (including recruitment and category), customer complaints, accounting system, customers (active or otherwise) and category, service interruption (areas, duration and reasons) and detailed information on selling expenses. The Commission has made it clear to WASCO that, with the new tariff increase, it also “expects to see some level of improvement at WASCO and will engage WASCO to establish certain targets, which must be achieved during the tariff period of three years.” The Commission will also monitor “increased efficiency, increased response to customers’ complaints and more reliable service delivery.” A water rate increase isn’t easy anywhere, especially these days. No Caribbean country can simply raise rates these days without some form of organized protest. That didn’t happen in St. Lucia, not because people can afford, but because everyone accepted WASCO needed to raise its own cash, as government is already cash-strapped. The St. Lucia reality – like elsewhere in the Caribbean – is that consumers would readily spend more on bottled water than on locally produced potable (pipe) water. Many spend more on imported bottled water than on paying monthly water bills. The age-old island-wide water distribution plant is badly in need of rehabilitation, if not replacement, but neither the Government nor WASCO can afford. The decision to charge more for water came after implementation of a 15% VAT rate and preceded the removal of half government’s the subsidies on sugar, rice and flour. There had also been a reduction in fuel subsidies with petrol rates at the pump and the cost of LPG (cooking gas) returned to the dictates of the world market price for oil. That St. Lucians did not demonstrate against the steep increases in water rates had as much to do with their understanding of the national state of economic play as with the manner in which the increase was approached. The government didn’t just go to the parliament and pass a new law to dictate an increase. Instead, it engaged the public and the stakeholders in the process and allowed a commissioned body to professionally guide the process. The water company pleaded for all the more money it needs, the consumers listened and listed their complaints and demands, the commission listened to all and took all arguments into consideration, then arrived at a proposed conclusion. That too was publicized and the consumers again had their say, resulting in a downward adjustment of the commission’s earlier proposed Sewerage rate. And no, the Commission – not the Minister, not the Cabinet – is holding WASCO to task to ensure that what it agreed to do is implemented so that what was promised to water consumers is delivered. St. Lucia’s water situation is not much different to that of any other similar Caribbean island. What’s different is how the problem is being approached. The Popular Participation element is a feature worth studying and emulating elsewhere, as it had paid dividends in St. Lucia. The offer of an Amnesty to defaulters has also helped. With WASCO now given the liquid life-saver of an increase in Water and Sewerage rates, it is expected that the many long years of criticism of WASCO will become, sooner rather than later, like water under the bridge!