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RainCaribbean countries should be harvesting more rainwater:

Rainwater harvesting is an option that has been adopted in many areas of the world where conventional water-supply systems have failed to meet people’s needs. It can assure an independent water supply during water restrictions and is usually of acceptable quality for household needs and renewable at acceptable volumes.

Leslie Simpson, natural resources management specialist at the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), said last week that Caribbean territories are skirting around the issue of adequate rainwater harvesting. Simpson said adequate policies and measures should be drafted and implemented to ensure countries in the region begin to properly assess the importance of rainwater harvesting.

“Our main source of water is rainfall and we have to ensure that we utilise as much of that rainfall as possible. Too much of the rain that falls goes straight to the rivers and then to sea. We have to ensure that water is getting down to the soil, going to the subsurface and recharging the aquifers,” Simpson said.

Rainwater harvesting is a technique that has been used since antiquity. It is often used for drinking and cooking, and so it is vital that the highest possible standards are met.

Rainwater, however, often does not meet the World Health Organisation water-quality guidelines, but it has been used as water for livestock, irrigation, as well as other typical uses such as supplementing the subsoil water level and increase urban greenery.

Simpson has coined the term ‘rainwater harnessing’, in which he is advocating for larger storage systems and, particularly with imminent climate change on the horizon, he is concerned that water sources are going to be less, and governments across the region need to step up the management of this area.

Read more in the full article from the Jamaica Gleaner. See also: the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute’s Rainwater Harvesting Toolbox.

[Photo: Georgia Popplewell]


3 Responses to “Developing potential for rainwater harvesting in the Caribbean” Subscribe

  1. roger allewaert November 28, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    By law, on all islands off the Antilles, especially the ones that Colombus branded as inutiles, because there were no rivers,
    every new construction should have an adequate cistern, and a pump for rainwater supply in the houses or appartments. It is in the law on the french side ( Saint-Martin), yet I see a major construction projet for individual homes, 60 in total, not one cistern. All these homes have private mini-pool or jacuzzi, and all that water will have to be produced by reverse osmosis, while yesterday alone, there was enough rain to fill 10 centimeter in each pool for practically free.Humankind is more and more STUPID.

    • Millard Wright November 28, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

      I am currently putting into place a rainwater harvesting system in Jamaica consisting of 75,000 gals cistern, reverse osmosis filtration & ultraviolet purification system with (2) active and (1) backup pumps. The first 5 minutes of rainfall goes into a “wash” pipe. This is my only domestic water source.


  1. Developing potential for rainwater harvesting in the Caribbean ... | Rainwater Harvesting : world tour | Scoop.it - November 30, 2011

    […] Developing potential for rainwater harvesting in the Caribbean … Caribbean countries should be harvesting more rainwater: Rainwater harvesting is an option that has been adopted in many areas of the world where conventional water-supply systems have failed to meet people's needs. Source: http://www.greenantilles.com […]

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