Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNSOURCE): In response to a persistent decrease in rainfall over the past decade, authorities have announced water rationing measures to mitigate the impact of a potentially worsening water scarcity situation.
According to Ian Francis, Inspector of Pumps and Electrical, if the trend of declining rainfall continues, the Federation may have no choice but to turn to desalination to meet the growing demands for portable water. The alarming 18 percent decrease in annual rainfall has highlighted the pressing need for alternative solutions.
“We have seen a decrease in rainfall over the last, um, 10 years between 2020, between 2010 and 2020, roughly. We have seen about an 18 per cent decrease in rainfall. That is very troubling to us at the Water Services Department. If that pattern were to continue… We will be fast becoming more and more dependent on desalination. Because it simply means that we would not have enough potable water based on the rainfall that we’re receiving, he said.
The gradual decline in rainfall has forced authorities to take immediate action to ensure the continued availability of portable water resources. Water rationing measures have been implemented across various communities of the Federation.
“The reason why we are rationing is because even though we are in the rainy season, we are not getting much rainfall. And most of our water depends, well, all of our water depends on rainfall. Whether it’s groundwater or surface water, it depends on the rainfall. So we are rationing because we are not getting much rain. Compared to previous years where we were getting more rain, the rainfall is being less every year and every year. So we have to put rationing in place, so that we can have our consumers get water at appropriate times,” said Director of the Water Services Department Cromwell Williams during the most recent episode of “The Waterline”, aired on ZIZ Radio.
As the federation grapples with diminishing rainfall, the possibility of turning to desalination becomes more and more likely. Desalination is the process of removing salt and impurities from seawater, making it safe for human consumption. While the technique offers a viable solution to tackle water scarcity, it comes at a considerable cost in terms of energy consumption and implementation.
Active participation from citizens and businesses in water conservation practices is crucial. Embracing water-saving habits and adopting efficient technologies can help reduce unnecessary wastage. Raising awareness about the importance of water preservation and encouraging responsible water usage will contribute to long-term sustainability.