Hydro-Meteorology and Sustainable Development in the Caribbean


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Presentation made at the 6th High Level Session Ministerial Forum of the Global Water Partnership-Caribbean (GWP-C).

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Hydro-Meteorology and Sustainable Development in the Caribbean

  1. 1. Hydro-Meteorology and Sustainable Development in the Caribbean David A. Farrell, Ph.D., P.G. Principal Caribbean Institute for Meteorology & Hydrology Husbands, St. James Barbados Inputs from Christopher Cox (Ph.D.) Caribbean Environmental Health Institute & Adrian Trotman (M.Sc.) CIMH
  2. 2. We plan our lives and activities around weather and climate. Where we live, how we live and what we do.Hence, timely information on weather and climate is essential for our livelihood and way of life.Our future is uncertain due uncertainties in future weather and climate.Reducing these uncertainties is a major priority if we are to attain our socio-economic goals.
  3. 3. Characteristics of the Caribbean Most are Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and countries with large low-lying coastal areas that are vulnerable to flooding; Significant coastal socio-economic development with most major cities, capitals and financial centres located in coastal areas; Mostly agricultural and service based economies with few exceptions; National and inter-related regional economies that lack significant diversity; Complex inter-related environmental hazards (e.g., flooding, drought, wind, earthquake) and highly vulnerable populations & ecosystems; Youthful populations with high expectations; Acutely susceptible to climate change and climate variability; All countries trying achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals and sustain or enhance future development.
  4. 4. Climate Related Risks Challenge Sustainable Development Over the last 3 decades, the Caribbean has suffered direct and in- direct losses estimated at between USD 700 – 3,300 million due to extreme weather events (Inter-American Development Bank, 2007); Cumulative annual impact of future climate change on all CARICOM Member and Associate Member States by ca. 2080 will be about USD 11.2 billion or 11.3 percent of the projected annual GDP (World Bank, 2009): − Most significant contributors to the future annual losses are expected to be direct losses due to climate related disasters:  USD 2.6 billion due to wind damage;  USD 363.2 million due to flood damage;  USD 3.8 million due to drought;  USD 447 million due to loss of tourism revenues; Role for hydro-meteorology in sustainable development.
  5. 5. Climate Related Risks Challenge Sustainable Development Actions Required to Reduce Climate and Disaster Risks − Quantification of risks related to climate related hazards; − Development of human and technical capacity to convert data to information that can be used to inform adaptation strategy and prioritization of the implementation process; − Integrated, proactive and creative approaches:  Science, engineering and social sciences will have to work in concert to define adaptation parameter space;  Integrated multi-sectoral interventions (water, agriculture, tourism etc) at the regional, national and local levels to implement risk reduction and risk transfer strategies that support and facilitate adaptation; − Challenges can be overcome if we have a common goal and work together in good faith!!!
  6. 6. What is Hydro-Meteorology? Bureau of Meteorology (Australia): − Branch of meteorology that deals with the hydrological cycle, the water budget, and the rainfall statistics of storms. − The boundaries of hydro-meteorology are not clear-cut, and often overlap with those of the climatologist, the cloud physicist, and the weather forecaster. − Considerable emphasis is placed on determining the relationship between meteorological variables and the maximum precipitation reaching the ground. These analyses often serve as the bases for the design of flood-control and water usage structures including dams and reservoirs. − Other concerns of hydro-meteorologists include determination of rainfall probabilities, the space and time distribution of rainfall and evaporation and recurrence interval of storms. − Water quality and supply is becoming important in hydro- meteorology.
  7. 7. Conceptual Framework for Regional Hydro- Meteorological Network National network links Regional links National stations Regional archive & product development
  8. 8. Example of Hydro-Meteorological Stations Network schematicSea level monitoring station Stream gauging stationwith meteorological measuring with meteorologicalinstruments in Saint Lucia. measuring in USA.
  9. 9. Hydro-Meteorology & Climate/ Disaster Risk Reduction Requirements Timely provision of information on critical climatic parameters: − Precipitation, temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction etc (when, where, how much, seasonal trends etc); Data quality is important if risk reduction is to be achieved − Measurement networks must exist, be appropriate to the scale of the problem, and work for long periods of time − Adequate investment key to network performance & sustainability − Data quality assurance and quality control are important Products and information derived data must be transferred to stakeholders in a form that can be readily used ... needs and capabilities of downstream users must be understood. Systemic institutional failures across most of the region in 2009-2010 exacerbated drought impacts.
  10. 10. Hydro-meteorology, Risk Reduction and Adaptation Hydro-meteorology data and products are essential for adaptation in the following sectors: – Water Resources Management; – Agriculture & Food Security – Energy (hydro-electric, solar and wind) – Health (vector borne diseases, heat stress & respiratory among others); – Manufacturing; – Tourism; Presentation focuses on first two.
  11. 11. Hydro-meteorology & Water Resources Management FAO Country Profiles, 2000: Fernandez and Graham Country Water Availability Water Supply Desalination (x106 m3/yr) (x106 m3/yr) Plants Aquifer Surface Aquifer SurfaceAntigua & 4.6 4.6 2BarbudaBarbados 76 6.3 > 76 > 6.3 1Belize N/A N/A 3.1 1(?)Dominica 26 >16Grenada 1.7 8-11.6 0.8 8 3Guyana 2355-11775 65Haiti 0.13 0.13
  12. 12. Hydro-meteorology & Water Resources Management FAO Country Profiles, 2000: Fernandez and Graham Country Water Availability Water Supply Desalination (x106 m3/yr) (x106 m3/yr) Plants Aquifer Surface Aquifer SurfaceJamaica 3419 666 850 76Nevis 3.02 1.82St. Kitts 6.63 3.32 5St. Lucia N/A N/A 9St. Vincent N/A 95 (est. N/A N/A 1971)Suriname N/A N/A 3153Trinidad & 107 3736 173Tobago
  13. 13. Hydro-meteorology & Water Resources Management Potswork Reservoir, Antigua Some countries are water scarce based on the UN definition: − Examples include Barbados & Antigua Regions within countries that are not water scarce may be water scarce: − Example includes Kingston, Jamaica Water scarcity can change due to changing water Potswork Reservoir has been dry at times within recent years. quality
  14. 14. Hydro-meteorology & Water Resources Management Freshwater Demand Service Agriculture Industry Municipal SectorService Sector Tourism and related sectors are heavy user of freshwater. National Water Commission of Jamaica estimates that the tourism sector require 10x more water per capita than the domestic sector.Agriculture Regional water demand in this sector has not been thoroughly assessed (except Jamaica). Expected that demand will vary depending on the type of crop and its contribution to GDP.Industry Use of water by industry is generally not well documented.Municipal Not well defined on most islands … limited metering of homes.
  15. 15. Hydro-meteorology & Water Resources Management Management Issues from IICA Meeting in St. Lucia (1999)Resource Multiple institutions involved in water resources management in any one country. However, no mechanism exists to facilitateManagement integration of respective priority actions and to assess their combined impact on water resources development planning.Data Collection Data are critical for planning, design, and implementation of water resources projects and achieving management& Inventory objectives. Many islands lack basic data on available resources, supply, and demand.Institutional Institutional capacity with regard to water resources and management is generally weak. This has adverse impacts onCapacity, R&D research and development project activities and the successful implementation of integrated water resources projects.Market Based Water rights, water markets, and pricing are not an important component of resource management. This framework isFrameworks essential to funding development and growth.Regulatory National policies, frameworks, and laws to protect freshwater resources are often non-existent, poorly implemented, or out-Frameworks dated.
  16. 16. Hydro-meteorology, Drought & Water Resources Management History of drought in the Caribbean (meteorological, agricultural and hydrological); Likely increase in frequency and severity of drought episodes in the Caribbean in the future; Precipitation likely to decrease by approximately 15 to 20 percent in the future; Number of consecutive dry days per year likely to increase; Rainfall intensity likely to is expected to increase.
  17. 17. Drought, Agriculture & Water Resources Management (2009-10) The 2009-2010 experience: − Meteorological, agricultural and hydrological drought experienced − Significant socio-economic impacts experienced: − Event formally identified after on-set of severe conditions  Why??? Path forward
  18. 18. 2009-2010 Drought Impacts on Agriculture & Food Security Crops and Livestock − President of Guyana allocated GUY 258 million for farming relief in Region 2; Some farmers pumped saltwater into fields; − Banana exports from Dominica were 43 percent lower in the first 11 weeks of 2010 − Agricultural production in St. Vincent and the Grenadines was significantly reduced; − Approximately 25 percent of onion crop in Antigua was lost. Food Prices − The price of tomatoes in St. Vincent and the Grenadines rose from EC 2.35 per pound in February, 2010 to EC 6.00 per pound in March. − Food pricing represented a significant portion of rising in inflation in Trinidad & Tobago from January-March, 2010.
  19. 19. 2009-2010 Drought Impacts on Agriculture & Food Security Bush Fires − Scarce water resources required to combat significant increases in bush fires − Over 1,000 bush fires reported in Barbados during the first quarter of 2010 − 106 fires in the first quarter of 2010 in Dominica compared to 103 for all of 2009 − In St. Vincent & the Grenadines, seven different farms reported the destruction of at least 2 acres of crops from fire Land Degradation − Flooding & land slides in the post drought period due in part to loss of vegetative cover and destruction of soils due to fires
  20. 20. Impacts of 2009-2010 Drought Water Resources on Antigua Antigua − The Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) reports that the Potworks Reservoir, the major surface water storage reservoir with a 1,000 million gallon capacity that provides up to 20% of the total volume on Antigua will be dry by the start of March. It is projected that under current conditions the other surface water reserves will be depleted by the end of March. The volume of water produced from desalination plants will be stepped up while a water rationing programme will need to be put in place.
  21. 21. Impacts of 2009-2010 Drought on Water Resources on Grenada Grenada − In Carriacou the majority of the rainwater cisterns that supply bulk water to critical institutions and the public are now dry. Water is now being barged from Grenada to supply the residents.
  22. 22. Impacts of 2009-2010 Drought on Water Resources on Guyana Guyana − Water levels in the conservancies including the East Demerara Water Conservancy (EDWC) that services Georgetown and coastal communities have dropped to all-time lows, and surface waters in the hinterlands have significantly diminished. Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) is rationing output to Georgetown during off-peak hours. For a large number of wells in the hinterlands, hand pumps are no longer operable and areas that relied solely on rainwater now out of water. There are now reported increases incidences of diarrhea attributable to use of unsafe water. The water levels in the conservancies are now at levels beyond the lowest design safe level for irrigation. Consequently sugar and rice production as well as livestock production are being severely impacted.
  23. 23. Impacts of 2009-2010 Drought on Water Resources on Jamaica Jamaica: − The below average rainfall has led to significant reductions in streamflow especially for those rivers to the east of the island including the Kingston and St Andrew areas. This decline, coupled with the increased demand for water has led to a rapid depletion of storage in the two largest surface water storage systems on the island Mona Reservoir (capacity of 3.67MCM or 808.5 million imperial gallons) and Hermitage Dam (capacity of 1.80 MCM or 395 million imperial gallons). As of February 22nd the Mona Reservoir was down to 40% of capacity while the Hermitage Dam was down to 34% of capacity. Water rationing to service areas has been in effect. Over 70 small rural systems (springs and run-of-the-river diversions) in the east or the central area of the island have either gone dry or the flows have declined by over 80%. Water restrictions have been imposed since August of 2009 with tightening as the situation worsens.
  24. 24. Impacts of 2009-10 Drought on Water Resources on Jamaica Jamaica (contd): − There have been demonstrations in some rural areas as the National Water Commission (NWC) and the parish councils try to truck water to the citizens. Farmers in the agricultural belt along the south coast have suffered significant losses of crops. The economic cost to the NWC to truck water, plus the loss of revenues are estimated to exceed US$1 million. The economic cost to the country due to reduced production time at factories, early closure of business and schools is not yet calculated. There has been an increase in water borne diseases such as gastroenteritis and others due to the lack of water to maintain a high level of sanitation.
  25. 25. Adaptation: Caribbean Drought Early Warning Drought traditionally confirmed after the onset of the event and confirmed by an analysis of rainfall totals; Socio-economic sectors are unable to modify their operations in advanced and, as a result, are severely impacted. The Caribbean Drought and Precipitation Monitoring Network (CDPMN) and the Caribbean Precipitation Outlook provide the platform for drought forecasting.
  26. 26. Adaptation: Proposed National Water Monitor National Water Monitor concept recently piloted to look at the current state of water in the form of rainfall at the national level; Requires precipitation data from distributed rainfall recording stations to compute drought indices; SPI values for March 2010, Will be expanded to support CIMH, St. James forecasting the state of water at 3 2 1mth the national level 3-6 month into 1 3mth SPI 0 6mth Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar the future using regional climate -1 12mth -2 -3 models. Months
  27. 27. Caribbean Flooding Examples of recent severe flooding in the Caribbean (clockwise from top right): − Jamaica, Barbados and Haiti. Loss of life and property remains unacceptable high. Can this be improved?
  28. 28. Adaptation: Advance Flood Forecasting: Haiti Pilot Project 2010Hourly precipitation output from 48-hour Running cumulative 48-hour precipitationhigh resolution (4 km) numerical output from 48-hour high resolution (4 km)weather prediction model run over Haiti numerical weather prediction model run overwatersheds. Ideal for forecasting the Haiti watersheds. Ideal for assessing thepotential for flash flooding. potential for flooding and landslides due to multiple precipitation evens over 48 hours.
  29. 29. Adaptation: Advance Flood Forecasting: Haiti Pilot Project 2010 Effort started January 13, 2010 with production of high resolution rainfall estimates after the earthquake; Development work subsequently financed by the CCRIF with the product being used by the international community; Flood forecasting based on explicit hydrologic model that uses rainfall predictions over watersheds; System to be implemented in watersheds in the Caribbean under a Japan-CARICOM funded project. Hydrometric data needed for robust model Initial water depth in the watershed prior to the start of calibration. the rainfall event.
  30. 30. Adaptation:Advance Flood Forecasting: Haiti Pilot Project 2010Modeled water depths across Modeled water depths acrossthe watershed approximately 5 the watershed approximately 12hours after the start of the event. hours after the start of the event.
  31. 31. Hydro-meteorology & Water Resources Management Island scale and focused Groundwater groundwater and contaminant model being developed for migration modeling requires hydro- Barbados. meteorological inputs: – Models support current management and future climate change adaptation assessments; Hydro-meteorological data often C m a is n b tw e o s r e a d p e ic d pe ip tio o p r o e e n b ev d n r d te r c ita n have gaps due to poor 80 Pe ic d r d te Os re b ev d 70 maintenance of the network or data r c ita n m ) p e ip tio ( m 60 stored in an unusable format; 5 4 0 0 Missing data can be approximated 3 2 0 0 using statistical algorithms; 10 0 Data rescue programme needed 0 10 0 2 0 0 30 0 40 0 50 0 60 0 70 0 80 0 9 0 0 10 00 dy as Estimating missing data using for most Caribbean islands!!! analytical neural network.
  32. 32. Examples of Ongoing & Planned Regional Projects CCRIF Excess Rainfall Parametric Insurance Product − Based on model outputs due to limted hydro-meteorological data to support a data-driven model. Caribbean Water Initiative (CARIWIN) − 6 year pilot project being implemented in Jamaica, Guyana and Grenada with McGill University through assistance with CIDA − Supports water resources management training from the national to community levels − Installation of hydro-meteorological equipment CADM Phase II (CDEMA & Japan International Cooperation Agency) − Supports flood risk management in 6 CARICOM Member States) − Supports upgrading of hydro-meteorological networks in participating countries
  33. 33. Examples of Ongoing & Planned Regional Projects Completion of the Caribbean Meteorological Organization (CMO) Doppler Radar Project − Provides information to support rainfall estimation and location as well as other meteorological variables UNDP/Italy Enhance Resilience to Reduce Vulnerability − Will be executed in Barbados and OECS − Implementation of a decision support system to reduce hydro- meteorological risk − Improvement of hydrometric networks and data real-time capture Expansion and enhancement of hydrometric networks in the OECS (USAID?) Completion of the Caribbean Sea Level Monitoring Network
  34. 34. Ongoing & Planned Regional Projects Carib-HYCOS (France & WMO) − Expansion of hydrometric networks and data capture in participating countries − Specialized water resources management training Capacity Building for Water Programmes in Higher Education in the Caribbean (CapCar) (EduLink) − Series of specialized short courses to support capacity building in water resources GEF Integrating Coastal Areas and Water Resources Management (GEF-IWCAM) − Capacity building in participating countries to implement an integrated approach to the management of watersheds and coastal areas.
  35. 35. Conclusions Sustainable development in the Caribbean is strongly dependent on weather and climate; Reducing the impacts that weather and climate have on the various socio-economic sectors requires significant interaction between the various disciplines; − Important lessons were learnt from the 2009-2010 drought; − Information must be shared in a timely manner; − A clear understanding of end-user needs is required. − Clear policies for such interactions is required; Many new initiatives are being enacted at the regional level that if sustained should improve disaster risk reduction and water resources management. Given recent history, are all of the efforts sustainable? How do we prioritize these efforts?
  36. 36. Conclusions Comprehensive education and training programmes may be required to support integration of disciplines
  37. 37. Regional Climate Data Archiving at CIMH• Responsible for storing/archiving meteorological and meteorological data from CMC Member States • Not all Member States are currently utilizing CIMH’s data archiving capabilities • Not all data collecting agencies in countries share data with NMHS … as a result, comprehensive data sets for most countries is not available• CIMH can handle data in a range of formats including CLIDATA and CLICOM which are supported by WMO … hydrological database also present• Quality Assurance checks performed by CIMH on the data received and archived • Monthly Weather Summaries prepared from meteorological data received (available in electronic format http://www.cimh.edu.bb)• In the past, few data products produced from data collected (cost is expensive relative to revenue) … situation is changing • See Caribbean Agrometeorology Network (
  38. 38. Challenges to Data Archiving at CIMH• Failure of several countries to archive data at CIMH• Costs associated with data collection and archiving systems – Data collection, archiving and quality assurance at CIMH is approximately USD 250,000.00 – Most of these costs are not recoverable – As more databases are added costs will increase – Sustainability of the system is susceptible to budgetary shortfalls at CIMH• A more strategic approach to data collection, archiving and quality assurance at CIMH is required
  39. 39. Meteorological Data Archiving in the Caribbean• Why collect and archive? What is the importance of archived data? – Better understand the climatology of the region to support sectoral planning (e.g., agriculture, water resources planning, insurance, etc) – Support for global climate databases (e.g., GCOS) – Support engineering designs (e.g., drainage design to support flood mitigation) – Environmental change detection – Supports design of alternative systems and energy mix
  40. 40. Project Cycle for Data Collection Projects• Challenges – Limited sustainability as there is often little funding beyond the Proposal development, approval & inception execution period – Often no product development Network design, from the data collected equipment selection – How to address recurring costs• Enhancing sustainability Equipment acquisition & deployment – Include a revenue generating model in the project design to Data collection, storage Data dissemination to address recurring costs & archiving stakeholders
  41. 41. Modified Project Cycle for Data Collection Projects• Market analysis and Proposal development, product identification approval & inception – Customers and marketing strategy should be developed Network design, Market analysis & equipment selection product identification early in the project – Should be included early in the Equipment acquisition & project cycle so that it is deployment reflected in the equipment acquisition, network design and Data collection, storage Data dissemination to data collection and storage & archiving stakeholders activities – Needs of the market may result in network design that may differ Product development Revenue generation from that developed for the “traditional scenario” Network maintenance & expansion
  42. 42. Modified Project Cycle for Data Collection Projects (… cont’d)• Product development Proposal development, – Can occur within regional approval & inception organizations or as joint collaborations between the Network design, Market analysis & organization and the equipment selection product identification public/private sectors – Single or multiple products Equipment acquisition & developed based on market deployment demand and risk consideration Data collection, storage Data dissemination to & archiving stakeholders• Revenue generation – Sale of data to commercial Product development Revenue generation entities – Sale of products and services Network maintenance & developed from data collected expansion and royalties
  43. 43. Revenue Generation Models• Sale of data – Requirements: • Identification of appropriate pricing schemes • Development of appropriate agreements controlling the distribution of the data to third parties • Establishment of an appropriate system where royalties (or some equivalent) is paid to the data collector distributor for each unit of product sold for which the data is an important contribution – Pros: • For donor funded activities the cost and risk exposure is small for the implementing organization – Cons: • No incentive for capacity development leading to innovation is often missing • Revenue generated may be insufficient to cover recurrent costs associated with sustain the network … return to the donor community for financing to revitalize the network … removes money that can be applied to other important developmental activities
  44. 44. Revenue Generation Models (… cont’d)• Development of Products & Services … added value – Requirements: • Market research conducted early in the project development stage • Appropriate staffing and resources may need to be put in place • Establishment of appropriate pricing schemes for products and services • Public sector/Private Sector partnerships – Pros: • Donor assumes the initial risks by providing the seed financing • Revenue generated from the sale of products and services used to sustain the network … no need for further interventions from the donor community • Research (market and scientific) and product development supports capacity development, innovation and spin-off activities … organizational growth • Data dissemination objectives also achieved • Provides incentives for data collection – Cons: • Organization’s risk exposure increased due to its need to invest in product development
  45. 45. Other Approaches to Achieving Sustainability of Data Collection Systems• Exploitation of synergies between projects – Currently several projects are being initiated in the Caribbean that have data collection components. CIMH is working with the various implementing agencies. Long-term sustainability of these efforts can be achieved by: • Exploiting synergies across projects to reduce repetition of efforts • Using common instrument platforms to reduce the number of systems being deployed, managed and maintained • Utilization of common databases to reduce the costs associated with supporting multiple databases • Reinvesting cost savings from synergistic activities to support sustainability activities (equipment procurement, software updates and research and development activities)
  46. 46. Conclusions• Saying we need a new network is not enough … demonstrating a clear long-term management strategy is required• There needs to be significant shift in the way we see data and demonstrate the importance of data to national development• Business models should be built into proposals to support the sustainability of projects. Models should explore revenue generation based on resale of data and development of products from data. Revenue could support – Sustainability of networks – Innovation, research and development