Barbados Water Authority advertises its tender for Water and Sanitation Systems Upgrade thanks to IADB funding.
The Future Centre Trust applauds the Inter-American Development Bank and the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) for their plans to upgrade the Water and Sanitation Systems of Barbados as reported by the Sunday Sun on June 19, 2010. Water in Barbados is a scarce resource. The country is listed in the top ten water scarce countries per capita in the world. Water is not seen as precious, however, thanks in part to the price charged for this life giving necessity. But will the fifty million USD upgrade to the BWA come at too high a price for Barbadians?
Upgrades to the BWA systems both for water supply and its reorganisation of customer service systems, public awareness and IT are long overdue by all accounts. It is the first point raised when the issue of water conservation measures such as Rainwater Harvesting are mentioned to the general public. “Why should we install rainwater harvesting systems, when the biggest waste of water in Barbados is made by the Water Authority itself!”, is a quote heard many a time at the various presentations which the FCT provides regularly. Now we have the answer! An upgrade will help to solve these issues – never mind that these changes will not come easy, but at least now they are coming!
One is aware that with financing comes repayment. The fear is that by implementing such a welcomed change to ‘business as usual’, that for so long has been the BWA, it will end up costing more for our water supplies and waste water treatment. When something costs more money, it all of a sudden becomes precious. This may not be such a bad thing as the continued threat of annual droughts and their severity increases due to climate change. We need to conserve our water – each one of us!
A couple of examples if you will – We all know how much car owners in Barbados love to keep their cars clean. If all of the 116,000 cars in Barbados were washed every week – once every week – with two five gallon buckets of water, this would amount to almost four and a half million litres of water a week‼! A week‼ What about if everyone only had one five minute shower per day using five gallons… This works out to four point nine million litres per day – and this is just a population number of 260,000 used‼ We need to start realising water is precious, and if a rate increase make those who flippantly use water stop and think twice about letting the hose run, or the tap run in the sink, then that is a good thing!
At the start of the Environment Day Parish Walk organised by the NCC from the Eric Holder Centre in St Joseph, the FCT was impressed to learn, after questioning a police officer washing his vehicle with a hose, that the Centre uses rainwater for car washing and irrigation purposes. Very impressed indeed! We need more of this within public and private sector businesses and organisations (and householders for that matter). This is one way to appease any increases which may be imposed thanks to the planned upgrade of the BWA systems.
The Future Centre Trust looks forward to hearing more of this tender process and implementation, which of course will take much time to find the right people to do the jobs at hand and to actually see the finished product. At least there is a plan and the plan is backed with funds‼ Here’s hoping!
About Future Centre Trust
The Future Centre Trust is an environmental Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) and registered charity providing environmental education to the public of Barbados. Its mission is “To stimulate awareness and encourage responsible management of the vital relationship between people and nature leading to a sustainable future for all”. This is achieved through various programmes, activities and presentations to the community which are included and highlighted at www.futurecentretrust.org.