Water resources management in the eastern Caribbean : a study of the two small island developing states, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados
Water resource management is currently an issue of major significance at a global level both in terms of policy-making and academia. Small island states represent a special group, with Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados, even more particular cases. Development, industrialisation, tourism and resource usage continue to intensify, placing considerable pressures on freshwater supply, demand and quality. This situation is accentuated by the uncertainties surrounding changes in global climatic conditions. Furthermore, water security is not an end in itself, but a means to other ends: health, industrial and agricultural production, for example. These sectors in turn introduce a range of social, economic and environmental issues and problems. This project aims to evaluate the current freshwater management practices in Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados and propose various options for sustainable water resources management which may then improve water security. In Barbados, water resources are limited, as extractions from groundwater aquifers have reached the safe yield points. This is currently placing major constraints on a number of developmental proposals. Although in general, the water reserves in Trinidad and Tobago are abundant in relation to demand, wide regional disparities exist. Shortages are related to this uneven distribution but moreover, because of the inefficient operations of the national water authority. Through the rehabilitation and modernisation of the systems at the water authorities, coupled with the upgrading of the existing water legislation, tariff structure and the regulatory framework, water security in Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados can be greatly improved.