You’ll come a Washing Matilda at the Barbados Future Centre

Washing your car? Here’s an Interesting Fact on Water Use

Nicole decided to count the number of buckets used to wash Matilda (that’s her photo above – ah, Matilda not Nicole) and counted the number of buckets of collected Rainwater used. It came to 9.5 5 gallon buckets. (She was well washed!) Thats 177 litres to wash one car if potable water was used. Think about that one a country wide level!

… from the website of Counterpart Caribbean at the Future Centre

What’s Happening at the Future Centre in February?

A little birdie told us that the Future Centre is running a workshop next month with funding from the Global Environment Facility – Small Grants Programme implemented locally by the United Nations Development Programme. We’d love to know more about the workshop, so if someone from the Future Centre could send us the information or a press release we’d be happy to run a story. (barbadosfreepress (AT)


Filed under Barbados, Environment

18 responses to “You’ll come a Washing Matilda at the Barbados Future Centre

  1. Cliverton not signed in.

    Spelling error – subtitle should be “washing your car?”

    George can you fix it please? I’m outta here!

  2. Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    When the Nation reported on January 28 that there will probably be an extended period of water shortage (3-6 months?), there was commentary about the need for a ‘look at water management techniques’. Minister Lowe was supposedly unaware of the impending situation but would look into the matter. That is not so encouraging.

    However, it will be interesting to see what happens and when. In countries that are not water scarce, but suffer periodic water shortages, such as parts of the US, or the UK in whole or part, one action taken quickly is a ban on domestic use of piped water for non-essential activities, and closure of car washes. Your report indicates how much water is used for a somewhat frivolous reason (keeping a bundle of metal clean and shiny). I noted how few dirty cars were on the roads in the recent dry spell since last October. Clearly, people do not see for themselves the need to curb water use in times when it is clear that water is scarce, and that in a country that is widely known to be water scarce.

  3. Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    I should add that I live where there is a tank for rain water, which is what I use to wash my car. But when the weather has been very dry, sorry, the car stays dirty, as that rain water has better use for nurturing renewables, like plants. When there was heavy rain in recent days, it was a great time to grab a bucket and sponges and wash the car with my kid.

  4. Hope Springs Eternal

    Dennis, trust you to be so sensible and make sense. You think Bajans gine let their big shiney status symbol get a little dusty? Bajans should look to their neighboring Wes’Indians to learn about proper water management. In Bequia, every home has a water cistern to collect rainwater. You can’t stand in the shower and sing an aria, no siree, You stand long enough to get the job done and nuh more. Bajans are spoiled rotten and it will take a crisis to get them to understand water conservation.

  5. cq8

    Nice touch on the title bfp!

  6. Checkit-Out


    Sorry; 1 suzuki van can’t take 47.5 gallons of water for one wash. That is totally ridiculous. But then they did say it was well washed.

    Perhaps Future Centre was talking about one wash every day for 5 or so days by someone who set out, not to conserve water, but to demonstrate how much water one could use to wash a van. I don’t think the example is typical of car washing in Barbados and that one can’t extrapolate from it to country wide usage of water for washing cars in Barbados.

    Have you ever seen the guys washing cars in the car parks. They typically use 1 bucket of water to wash a car. I suspect the average car owner might use 2 buckets totalling about 5 gallons.

    In fact, despite advice from Government suggesting that water from buckets should be used to wash cars, I think that there is a sizable proportion of car owners who use hoses to wash cars from their domestic water supply and the amounts used to wash a car or van by a hose could well be in excess of the 47.5 gallons Future Centre calculated from their bucket experiment.

    I agree totally that collected rain water should be used, where possible for washing cars. But, failing that, water in buckets should be used at 1/10 th the rate reported by Future Centre in their experiment.

    I agree also that there is great need for water conservation in Barbados and we should be more responsible in such areas as washing cars and watering lawns but the article above does not give a realistic picture of water usage re washing cars and does not provide reasonable data for forming a reasonable conclusion on such use of water.

    I would suggest that Future Centre redo the experiment including a control treatment using a hose and also do a study of the usage of water by the car park washers. I also think that at a time when the authorities are talking about an extended drought, they should give us more detailed information on methodologies for saving water and, if warranted, make the usual suggestions for water conservation mandatory.

  7. Kammie

    I will be blogging from the St Philip North Constituency Meeting this evening.

    I will ask Michael Lashley if he know that 31 acres of Agricultural land at Sunbury St Philip will changed to Quarrying.

    Question {2} Mr Lashley what representation was made by you on behalf of your constituents bearing in mind this quarry is less than half mile from Hampton Pumping Station.

    So any yardfowl who knows Mr Lashley please inform him we need answers.

  8. 10


    If this is a change of use of agricultural land and it’s over 10 hectares / 24.7 hectares the Physical Development Plan must be amended. Ask him if he is aware of that.

    The PDP 2003 Amended Section 3.13.1 says that “ Under exceptional circumstances, non-agricultural development may be considered on agricultural land (SUBECT TO AN EIA AND AMENDMENT TO THE PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN AMENDED 2003 IN INSTANCES WHERE THE LAND IS GREATER THAN 10 HECTARES/24.7 acres) but only if the proposal provides significant economic, social and environmental benefits……..”

  9. Kammie

    I will ask him this? Thank you anonymous.

  10. oh come on

    biggest water saving technique bim can implement is the prompt rectification of burse pipes and mains around the island. i have seen water pouring down the gutter for days already and no repairs done. shud i pee in the shower and desist from washing my vehicle and leff piss in my toilet for hours when the bwa cant even get the response times to leaks and ruptures in the system at a decent time?

  11. Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    @ Hope Springs Eternal
    January 30, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    I’d hope that being that sensible would not be so hard for Bajans. The latest post, which proposing peeing in the shower is one that should be read with this. Government can take a useful lead in water management (not withstanding the waste that one sees via BWA poor water management).

  12. Kammie Holder

    We need to stop using potable water for flushing toilets. Water harvesting is the only way we will solve this problem but as usual people only react when we are on the brink of danger. In Antigua they dont wash cars as they have to harvest rain water.

  13. peltdownman

    Oh come on

    Let me get this straight. Because the water system in Barbados has been neglected for decades, and because the BWA cannot get itself organised quickly enough to get to burst mains early, we should all ignore calls to conserve water, so that when we eventually get to the point where the taps run dry, the BWA is the only body to blame. They do make handy scapegoats, don’t they?

  14. Straight talk

    Are they the authority on water in Barbados or not?

    Is their paid for expert advice being heeded or not?

    Are they worth a hill of beans or not?

    Do we care or not?


  15. oh come on

    I am not indulging in gross practices, and besides, to suggest such is an insult considering the poor water management from the authority that recommends it.

  16. Moggie

    That is ridiculous. It takes just one bucket to wash a car.

    Instead, why not pee on your car and wash it with that?

  17. Future Centre Trust

    Thanks so much for your comments on the washing techniques of our lovely transport, Matilda. To answer a few of questions posed:
    Matilda was washed with that many buckets in an effort to see how much water would be needed for a very comprehensive wash of a van that really only gets washed once every few months;
    Rainwater was used without fear of wastage of our precious potable water, but yes agreed, that if more stringent practices were used, then two buckets would be more than sufficient (although there is recognition that these car park guys have mastered the ‘art’ of watering with 2 buckets);
    The use of a hose to wash a vehicle is extremely excessive and yes I would be interested to see how much water would be spent on a hose wash (sadly we do not have a hose connected to our rain water, so unable to run that study for now);
    The greatest amount of water saving available is more than likely through attention to leaky pipes within the BWA;
    A clean car is almost a must in Barbados, but did you know that if all the cars in this fine country were washed once a week with rainwater we could save enough potable water to fill the aquatic centre one and a quarter times per week.(Using 2 x 5 gallon buckets to wash your car) – equations available for those interested;
    Water is a precious resource, and yes there are fantastic examples across the world, but definately Bequia is the closest example of how rainwater harvesting on a large scale can work successfully;
    Every Barbadian and every tourist can do their bit to reduce unnecessary water consumption – one gallon a day by 280,000 people minimum is a lot of water;
    Do we really want to pay even more for our water if we can only rely on desal plants?
    Hope that answers some questions.
    Future Centre Trust
    ps… press release submitted Saturday regarding GEF Community Development workshop. Thanks

  18. Kammie

    I had to tell the Polarised Crowd Shut Up and let me speak. I was about to get Ingrunt too and Michael tell them let me speak.

    I got to ask one question. The structure for the Question and Answer needs to be looked at. My question was not answered as while were were at meeting taps were running dry in St Philip. Proper Masters of Ceremonies must be found.I am stll no wiser on What representation was made as it related to 31 acres of Agricultural land being turned to Quarry. Michael seem not convinced that Land is a scarce commodity in St Philip.

    The polarised crowd who were more eager to eat than to understand the implication of 31 acres of vegetation being loss. No bees no cross pollination for crops to grow. Easier contamination of water supply with Quarry less than half mile away.

    My conclusion is that free education and the ability to think has been lost. BajanS ingrunt. Give them their social rights in soup and dem gine drink it without realising. How can we grow as a people if we fail to be truthful in our praise. Sustainable Development is not taking place in Barbados.

    While I was speaking persons were making appeals on VOB for water in St Philip. I hope it does not rain for another three months. We need to be brought to an understanding that we need to harvest water and using potable for flushing toilets in 2010 is INGRUNT.

    Michael Lashley is one of the brightest Politicians and I give high marks. Haynesley Benn GETS NO MARKS!