Wednesday, 25 September 2013


THE IMPACT of climate change, inadequate tariffs for sustainable provision of water services and ageing infrastructure.

These are some of the major challenges that must seriously be addressed in the region, a reality President of the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA), O’Reilly Lewis, says will be discussed during the upcoming 22nd Annual Conference and Exhibition of his organisation, which is being hosted by the Barbados Water Authority next month.

President of the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association,
O'Reilly Lewis (left), along with Chairman of the High Level
Session and Barbados Water Authority’s Senior Engineer,
Stephen Lindo, outlined some of the challenges to
be addressed during the upcoming conference.
He told the media recently that this conference falls in a year when water-related issues in the Caribbean have been prevalent in the regional news, from irregular rainfall patterns affecting water supply in many of our islands, to deaths linked to consumption of contaminated water.

Lewis also pointed to limited waste water management systems leading to contamination of the natural environment and inadequate institutional arrangements for water resources management.

As it relates to climate change, he said there is overwhelming evidence that the risks to water resources associated with the impact of climate change are significant, especially for small island developing states.

“For example, it is now expected that climate change will lead to longer dry spells in the upcoming years. This is likely to not only decrease the availability of freshwater resources, but also increase the
demand for their use. Similarly, rising sea levels will impact negatively on the availability of groundwater resources.

“This makes it even more urgent for the practitioners in the water sector to work towards securing future water supply and to be more efficient in providing water services to the Caribbean people. The practitioners in the sector must constantly be examining and exploring new avenues for improvement. We have to be proactive in bringing our issues and concerns to the policymakers in such a way that will precipitate positive change for the sector.”

He says this is the aim of the CWWA – facilitating dialogue on the issues and challenges facing the water sector in the Caribbean –  the dialogue amongst water sector professionals and the dialogue with the policymakers.

Lewis, along with Chairman of the High Level Session, Stephen Lindo, and co-chair Andrea Gill, outlined some of the sessions that will be featured during the conference, which takes place at the Hilton Barbados October 6-11. These include workshops, technical sessions and seminars. There will also be exhibitors and vendor showcases featuring companies in the sectors from across the world, as well as series of regional leadership conclaves and roundtable sessions. (JH)

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