Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, is cautioning Jamaicans against misuse of the island’s water resources, and to begin adopting alternative harvesting and storing strategies.
He made the call at the final public consultation on the draft Water Sector Policy and Implementation Plan, held on April 30 at the Courtleigh Hotel in New Kingston.
Mr. Pickersgill stated that the aim of the consultation was to focus on ensuring the long term sustainable management of water resources, including measures to improve sanitation.
He said based on global developments regarding climate change, there is no guarantee in the rainfall weather predictions. As such, there can be no accuracy in determining if rainfall levels will be enough for the country’s water systems.
“We will, therefore, need to take even greater care of our fragile water resources. All persons in all areas and all sectors will be affected. We must explore alternative means of collecting and storing water. We must practice greater conservation measures and be far more efficient in how we use water, by recycling wherever possible,” he told the large audience.
Minister Pickersgill noted that while Jamaica has ample resources, the demand on the country’s water supply is growing at an alarming rate. He added that in addition to domestic consumption, all sectors demand and use water.
The Water Minister said given the rate of population growth, and development, if the country is not careful in how it manages its resources, water supplies can easily be depleted. He noted that the severe drought being felt in some of the central and southern parishes is a sharp reminder of this reality.
Minister Pickersgill also stressed the need for homeowners to ensure that homes are fitted with water saving devices such as low flush toilets, and low volume shower heads, to reduce the amount of water used.
He pointed out that through the draft Water Policy and Implementation Plan, the government aims to maximise the use of the country’s water resources to the benefit of everyone.
Other regional consultations were held in St. James, St. Mary, and Manchester.
By Rodger Hutchinson