Water Strategy Required

Reproduced from Andrew Simpson’s Facebook page.

water_nitrateYesterday I attended, as a member of BAPE; on the invitation of the BWA, a meeting to address water scarcity and to build a roadmap toward achieving water security. Dr Mwansa made a presentation which was prepared by Anthony Headley that outlined hydrological, regulatory and universal understanding. Accepting that Barbados is deemed a ‘water scarce’ country, based on the precipitation which can be accessed, clearly demonstrated the importance for careful management and wise utilization of this precious resource.

Along with the design, development and maintenance of a system to adequately harvest and store fresh water, with which our nation is naturally endowed; it was clear that the need to reduce, reuse and recycle equally relates to water; as it does to packaging and other lifestyle outputs. The idea of resource self-sufficiency must form part of the solution, with commercial / household USE of rainwater catchment, by way of implementing dual plumbing techniques along with any overflow being directed to the aquifer by using boreholes. In order that waste (grey water) be applied to suitable purposes; and for sewage (black water) to be recovered with treatment technologies where applicable, it is accepted that a national initiative will be required. A greater appreciation of the true value of piped water, in the meantime, is believed by many, to hold the greatest reductive potential for this scarce commodity. Such achievement can be immediate, by the GOB, through the PUB and FTC, implementing a tiered rate structure which attempts to place true value on the price tag for potable water. A doubling, trebling and quadrupling even, of the rate paid for consumption bands above essentially acceptable usage, based on the number of occupants in a household, or as otherwise qualified by acreage under food production, etc. would cause conservation and regeneration efforts to quickly follow.

Much technical writing is widely read and understood, thanks to our enviable education system, but exercise of practical knowledge seems rare. This conundrum is not specific but exists across the social spectrum. Stakeholders must unite in discovery and endeavor to join hands, link minds and bind hearts to rectify this dilemma. Most citizens acknowledge that the surrounding circumstances are less than ideal. The press and social media are reaching large segments society but somehow; the reality is not “hitting home” to those charged with the power to alter the way we react, as a people; toward the suffering of OTHERS. Is it a human callousness; a refusal to accept that we can do better, or simply that too many of us are so caught up in the mire of a frantic existence, that our sensitivity is diminished? This brings me, to what I believe to be, the heart of the matter – an ideological deficiency causing our perceived identity to be at odds with our true reality. The major underlying reason for this is an excess of socialist undertaking hampering the opportunity for true market freedom to manifest. The prosperity which naturally goes hand in hand with responsibility, to sustainably manage our natural resources and the environment around us, is being denied.

The challenge, at this historical juncture, is to build consensus, to correct anomalies that ‘encourage unhealthy practices’ while incentivizing right behaviors, to forge a way of life that balances tastes and economic provision. We must determine to work as a TEAM, toward this imperative. The faith exercised thus far, by our people has enabled our Nation to advance by leaps and bounds, over the course of the last fifty years, but has created a downside which needs to be managed. The interest costs alone, required to service the debt which successive governments have ‘chalked up’, has become unbearable. Coupled with the ongoing appetite for increased salaries, wages and conditions associated with the ‘army of occupation’ supposedly needed to provide these services, to which we have apparently become accustomed, are financially unsustainable.

A paradigm shift, in the way that the ‘ship of state’ is operated, and a course change, now desperately required, must be undertaken. The father of our independence, The Right Honorable Errol Walton Barrow, in his famous “Mirror Image” speech, suggested that we consider what image we have of ourselves. This sentiment; no, this ultimatum is more pertinent now than ever. “All hands on deck” must be the battle cry of ALL, if we are to move ever forward.
God Bless Barbados.


  • Maybe if Bajans would stop shedding crocodile tears every time the wind blow, they could save themselves some water. I’d like to take half of these complaining, ungrateful beings and force them to spend 30 days in Port-Au-Prince, I’d guarantee anyone that you’d get the paradigm shift required. Ungrateful, ignorant, insatiable brutes who only see misery while others see opportunities.

    Mandate water tanks for every home, big or small.


  • Hopi

    You trying to out do AC


  • How do tanks solve the problem if the aquifer and resevoirs are dry for extended periods?


  • All Hands on Deck, but if the Captain and his officers are fast asleep in their bunks,we ain’t going anywhere.


  • Its about time somebody outdo ac.

    Let me make it crystal clear…..OUTDOOR TANKS THAT CAPTURE RAIN WATER FROM THE ROOF, while the experts work on the reservoirs and aquifers. November alone could fill/half-fill many a tanks. If the gov’t won’t or can’t do for u do for self. “Go to the ant thou sluggard consider her ways and be wise.”


  • We must become resourceful enough and be prepared to give nature a hand as our environment deteriorates – because it most certainly will. Fetching water in from Suriname for use in agriculture is not a far-fetched idea, neither is paying a higher price for domestic supply. Barbadians need to stop taking water for granted !!


  • NARRATIVES!!!… This is the set-up for enrichment.

    …”Barbados is deemed a ‘water scarce’ country”
    not seeing it on records, nor on the ground.

    …”Accepting that Barbados is deemed a ‘water scarce’ country”
    this is a false and misleading statement and a subliminal attempt to condition the mind for that which is to follow.

    …”Experiencing drought conditions”
    false advertising period!

    … ” In order that waste (grey water) be applied to suitable purposes; and for sewage (black water) to be recovered with treatment technologies where applicable, It is accepted that a national initiative will be required”
    …accepted by who?, no national consensus have been undertaken, no real investigative efforts by other professionals/knowledgeable laymen (excluding BWA) who would VERIFY the current status of water, it’s resources and supply AS WELL AS the reason why the “water management agenda” continues when on the ground paints a difference picture.
    QUESTION.. Is there a plan now for treating and recycling shit water back in the system? who will benefit from such an exercise? Are we that stupid to allow this?

    THIS IS NOW FOUR MONTHS WITHOUT WATER IN MY TAPS and still getting billed!
    its conspiracy. theft and extortion, injury of health, a degrading OF LIVING STANDARDS..



  • Hopi

    You really going after AC job

    Let me tell you what I saw the experts workers of BWA did, they let a burst pipe leak for over 2 weeks, waiting for a backhoe to clear away 4 ft long of 8-10 inches of top soil to find the pipe, the plumber, knowing I told him weeks before, that the pipe not deep, I started to clear away the topsoil for them, he told me we have to get a backhoe for that, he had the guts to tell me,man you right , it not deep,


  • David

    Barbados isn’t the only place that is in want of water as you and many Other uninformed Barbadians would assumed. We have a water problem here as well, and it is due in part to the limited rainfall these few months. So Hopi you might well have a valid point regarding the fact that the people of Barbados have a tendency to rely on government for any and everything.


  • Oh gawd Dompey agrees with Hopi..

    Ok Watchman, since you insist on watching Hopi and not God, let’s examine the crux of the matter as outlined by the author…….

    “This brings me, to what I believe to be, the heart of the matter – an ideological deficiency causing our perceived identity to be at odds with our true reality. The major underlying reason for this is an excess of socialist undertaking hampering the opportunity for true market freedom to manifest”

    Is this really what’s going on with the water problem in Bim……. The belief that Bajans have endowed themselves with phantasmic characteristics that aren’t exactly reflective in their reality?

    Or is it that the GOB should hand over the reins of water supply to private entities so that they can x2,x3 or even x4 the rate paid for consumption per household?

    Are these interested parties really about supplying potable water to Bajans or are they about privitisation so that they can line their greasy pockets by milking ignorance and dependency of Bajans?

    Is the GOB of Barbados ‘outsourcing’ the water maybe to oil companies since the craze today is hydro-fracking? Or are they selling it t the Europeans to make beer or is some entity on the island locking it off at one source, bottling it and then reselling it to Bajans?

    And in the meantime, if as the blogmaster has insinuated that there’s an issue with aquifers and reservoirs, why shouldn’t Bajans attach a tank to their roof and collect the sky-juice directly? Or should they wait around another 5-10 yrs and complain, complain, complain while these scam artist bore holes in the ground to bring them potable water at outrageous rates?

    And stop insulting ac, plz!


  • Barbadians need right now to demand in any form necessary much better from this DLP governance who promised back in 2008 to fix the BWA, the taxpayers were made to pay up front, all we get to date are insanely actions of BWA management who over the years perfected the human callousness towards the public , the PM know all about new wine in old wineskins , yet an 80 plus years old man is running the BWA,


  • Hopi

    The true realities are , BWA and every Governmentally run in Barbados are in poorly state ,


  • Mark my words…..the Barbados Water Authority is under serious threat from internal sources.Nineofnine @11.55p makes a lot of sense.
    Sometime ago I received 2 successive billings in excess of $20,000.00 for 2 months supply.When drawn to the BWA’s attention,the woman responsible told me …’you should make arrangements to pay the money in installments’.The fact that they had sent 5 different officers to check the house confirming that there were no leaks and they took away the meter and again confirmed the meter was in “good working condition”,I realized I was dealing with a terrorist institution which appear to revel in driving fear into the hearts of consumers.What they didn’t bargain for was that they were dealing with a consumer equal to the task of terrorizing the BWA.Long story short,the bills were withdrawn,the meter changed and no further crap from the BWA,an institution that is overseen by dithering old duffers sleeping and dribbling on the job but scaring the wits out of innocent customers.
    To further confirm the callousness of the BWA,their operatives repaired a leak from a main.When the crew finished about 5pm,they left before turning back on the valve to reopen the flow of water.The area was therefore without water until 10 am the following day when the crew returned to reopen the valve.A case of no supervision and a cavalier approach th the management of water supply.For all the crap talk,BWA is poorly managed.If they can’t do the job,for heaven’s sake,give it to someone who can.


  • @Watchman…so you are in favour of privatization of Barbados Water Supply?

    Why should the people of Bim have any faith in those seeking to take control of supply and distribution from the GOB that they can do a better job? Are we jumping from the pan into the fire? Where is their track record? Isn’t this private entity seeking to quadruple the fees depending on household useage (according to them) and would this justifiable?

    btw..the GOB is a reflection of the People of B’dos.


  • Is there any reason why BWA cannot continue to be primarily state owned, while at the same time held accountable for generating reasonable profit – from which future technological developments can be corporately funded? Many Bajans tend to under-appreciate the high quality water provided, while others cannot seem to secure a reliable supply. The electric company service, which incidentally, has embraced the need for conservation, efficiency and renewables, does not appear to be suffering to any great extent from an ongoing lack of unlimited government subsidy. The point is for free and fair market forces to be allowed ‘every opportunity’ to function; in all sectors of society. Mechanisms that self-regulate consumption might translate not only to healthy self-reliance but greater economic stability for all.


  • Old Buggy,
    Are you telling me that if the neighbour has constipation you would also refuse to go to the toilet? What stupidity! Get a tank and collect water for your own use without having to be tole, or given the utensils to do so.


  • Alvin Cummins November 27, 2016 at 12:15 PM
    You have me lost there , Alvin. For your information, I have two tanks, one for potable water, and the other for rain water. These were installed over 20 years ago, long before this present water crisis. The latter is connected to the toilet tank.


  • @Gabriel…Please, it would be interesting HOW you solved the issue of the outrageous BWA billing. thanks


  • The reason why BWA should not continued as state owned, is that governance policy and management at the BWA is more corrupted now, than before 2008 , look at the impecuniousness of the state owned and the life style of the policy makers,


  • @Andrew

    Water and electricity show be managed as strategic assets. Although the electric company is privately owned the country had a measure of control until we allowed EMERA to win us over by greed.


  • @ David

    Thank you,I avoided using the word GREED because it has to be something other than greed now


  • Nineofnine
    Nothing illegal I assure you.The letter writer’s name was of such that they knew they met their match and withdrew without further ado.


  • Lee

    Fetching water in from Suriname for use in agriculture is not a far-fetched idea

    We will be introducing unknown bacteria into our farm lands,which in turn will percolate into our aquifiers and hence into our eco-system…..do we wish to take that risk?


  • David November 26, 2016 at 10:01 PM #
    How do tanks solve the problem if the aquifer and resevoirs are dry for extended periods?

    Every year unless something radical happens, the water resource available will vary upwards from a minimum of 44 mgd when rainfall is at its lowest at 40 inches per year.

    All we have to do is to ensure we don’t create a demand that exceeds this supply!!

    It is real real simple!!

    If we do, then somewhere water will not be available 24/7.

    Tanks allow consumer to capture water when it is on and supply their premises when it is off.

    They act as a buffer.

    Tanks also allow for the capture of rain water.

    This can be used for various purposes which relieves the demand on water from the BWA.

    We still have a first rate water supply, it is the users who are second rate!!


  • Electricity has to be created and there is a cost associated with its creation.

    Water on the other hand is a gift from God!!

    So too is the understanding needed to exploit the water.


  • @Andrew Simpson…..Do you, your associates and Dr. Mwansa have a track record to prove that you can do a much better job than that which the GOB is currently operating without increases/steep increases to the consumer?


  • I heard the Met Man on the 4.30 VoB news saying that we knew this weather was coming for some time………..I wonder were any plans put in place to capture this water?


    Flood watch extended to 8.00p.m…….any news on the happenings tonight at the Garrison?
    Reminds me of 1966.


  • @Vincent

    Have not heard or read of any GIS announcement. Commonsense suggest that it will have to be significantly delayed and a scaled down version of the event held close to midnight. There is the DLP’s/government PR value opportunity down the toilet. Barbadians from the diaspora are on the rock and the party will continue IF not at the Garrison.


  • The same cavalier attitude which the BWA has adopted towards the timely repairs to leaking water mains,has now been transfered to leaking sewerage pipes. Opportunity takes precedence over Priority .


  • Changes for Independence events

    By Barbados Today on Nov 29, 2016 05:44 pm

    img-20161129-wa0019Members of the public have been advised that the Reveal of the 50th Anniversary of Independence National Monument will now take place tomorrow, Wednesday, November 30, Independence Day, at the Garrison Savannah, at 7:00 p.m. It will be followed by the Golden Anniversary Spectacular Mega Concert at the Kensington Oval, beginning at 9:00 p.m. The […]

    Read in browser »


  • Hope wunna got wunna buckets and pots outside collecting rain water.


  • What is the plan now that we know there is problem with the South Coast Sewage network?

    Do we have a plan?

    Should we blame the BLP?


  • “We are addressing it by looking at water harvesting, which means that each household should have a facility, a cistern that catches the water when it is available. And we have installed a reverse osmosis plants, just as you have in Barbados, in a couple of countries, Bequia is one, and recently in Petit Martinique and Carriacou,” Dr Trotz stated.


    Note the above statement attributed to an expert conflicts with one made by Minister of Every Portfolio Denis Kellman on radio a few months ago when he stated the authority might have to prevent people from collecting water in tanks to protect the distribution system i.e. allow those who don’t have tanks to access water.


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