It is always a challenge to find a winning title for an article, and this one was inspired last Friday night at Edna's Beach Bar – as Robert and I headed for the washroom to make room for a few more Banks beer.
We had been discussing the current water shortage in Barbados, and how Denis Yearwood of the Barbados Water Authority recently blamed ordinary Bajans for wasting water while totally ignoring the sins of the tourist and commercial sectors. We feel the same way about Mr. Yearwood's statements as does Linda Thompkins of My Barbados Blog. Linda took Mr. Yearwood to task for his short sightedness, lack of courage and failure to confront large corporate water wasters.
(Linda's article "Water Wasting in Barbados" is well worth reading.)
So while Robert and I were standing there doing our business, we began talking about how much water it takes to flush away a little bit of urine – and how much clean water could be saved if hotels and restaurants were required to use "waterless urinals". Both of us have encountered these devices at Disney World in Florida, but we've never seen one in Barbados.
Why don't the government agencies get together on this? Probably for the same reason they don't clean up illegal chemical dumps on the island… they are much too busy having lunch and cocktails at the Savannah Hotel. (On Wednesday afternoons, it positively looks like a civil service convention over there. Photos will accompany a coming article.)
So in the interest of saving water, and if Minister of the Environment Liz Thompson (white wine) and her deputy (rum 'an coke) can tear themselves away from lunch for a few minutes, Barbados Free Press asks the Government of Barbados to consider mandatory waterless urinals for new construction in Barbados. We could save millions of litres of clean water over the coming years.
The big question everybody asks is "Don't they smell bad?", to which Robert and I answer "Nope, not at all." After all, waterless urinals are good enough for The Taj Mahal – probably the most famous tourist site in India if not the world – so they should be good enough for the Bridgetown Hilton…
Here are some web resources…
UPDATE – Comment from Hende
Our friend Hende at Barbados Forum writes the following…
Look Marcus, everywhere we are over run by crackpots, little Hitlers and Stalins with pea size brains collecting big salaries , having no more than a hair's width of mediocre skill passing it off as talent. For more than twenty years now, we have had a water shortage problem. Yet these pea brain muguffies have not twigged yet that in proportion to the annual rainfall we get there should be no shortage of water in the island.
There are two problems we have been beset by (a) leakage from over and underground mains. Almost as much water as we use each day is lost again through leaks. Repair the leaks within 24 hours and we have more water for everyone.
( For the amount of rainfall we get annually, if we had better means of collecting and storing that water, then we could have potable water far beyond what we need.
What do we need to do, either have one large reservoir or maybe three or four intermediate ones. Acquire the land, and set up a series of conduits that take that water to the reservoirs.
The trouble is that most of the people running BWA have not heard of forward or strategic planning or of 5, 10 or 15 year plans or even looking at the requirements over those years. Thats why we are in the state we are in. Simple.