Caribbean Countries Among the Most Water-Stressed

Apr 24, 2023
 by Seven Seas News Team

Freshwater availability across the Caribbean can vary because of climatic conditions, rainfall patterns, climate change, geology, and water management.

Sustainable solutions include desalination of seawater and wastewater reuse

A conference held this year highlighted concerns that Caribbean countries suffer some of the highest levels of water scarcity in the world. The Latin America and Caribbean Regional Water Action Dialogue concluded that several Caribbean countries — Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago — have “extremely high” levels of water stress. Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, and St. Kitts-Nevis also were classified as water-scarce.

At the launch of the United Nations World Water Development Report 2023, Artie Dubrie of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) said Caribbean countries depend heavily on rainfall as a source of freshwater. According to Dubrie, the biggest threats to water security in the Caribbean are climate change impacts, particularly hydroclimatic risks such as flooding, landslides, degradation of watersheds, sea-level rise, storm surges, coastal erosion, salination of freshwater sources, and drought.

Water Must Be Managed Sustainably

Threats to water security are dangerous because access to a reliable source of freshwater is essential for human health and wellbeing, for social and economic development, and for maintaining the integrity of aquatic ecosystems and the natural environment. To meet water demands without compromising environmental or human well-being, freshwater resources must be managed sustainably.

Freshwater availability across the Caribbean varies because of climatic conditions, rainfall patterns, climate change impacts, geology, and the availability of water infrastructure and water management. It can also vary across the archipelago; in the Bahamas, groundwater availability diminishes as one moves further south.

Dialogue Shows That Resilience is Key

With so many countries concerned about water security, the importance of building resilience to climate change impacts in the region is clear.

One of the aims of the dialogue was to accelerate water access goals in Latin America and the Caribbean. The dialogue concluded that water scarcity must be addressed with four pillars of action:

  1. Ensuring equitable access to water and sanitation for everyone.
  2. Promoting innovative practices such as rainwater harvesting and desalination.
  3. Reducing negative impacts on water sources from pollution and overextraction.
  4. Moving to circular management of water resources through reuse.

Solutions for Managing and Reusing Water

Sustainable water management requires a comprehensive approach. Seven Seas Water Group offers innovative water treatment and wastewater treatment solutions that address those four pillars while also addressing management challenges.

Seven Seas can help provide equitable access to clean water and sanitation, even in remote and under-resourced areas, with Water-as-a Service® (WaaS®). WaaS® requires no capital outlay, and clients pay only for the water they use.

While freshwater sources may be limited in the Caribbean, there is no shortage of seawater. Seven Seas offers solutions for treating seawater and brackish water to provide a reliable source of potable water. With Seven Seas’ state-of-the-art treatment technologies, wastewater can also be used for irrigation, reducing the demand on freshwater resources and preventing the pollution of freshwater systems from effluent discharges.

Contact our team of water experts to find out how our sustainable water and wastewater treatment solutions can improve water security and build climate resilience in your region.

Image Credit: jdvolcan/123rf