The case study looks at the fact that Caribbean countries face a number of challenges in maintaining adequate supplies of water for their populations. Challenges range from low annual rainfall levels to inadequate storage, polluted water sources, and poor management of existing water resources.
Caribbean water supply challenges are exacerbated by climate change and variability manifested as severe and protracted dry seasons and more intense rain events. High intensity rainfall events and more intense storms and hurricanes increase the potential of damage to water supply infrastructure through flooding and landslides (Bates et al. 2008, Cashman 2012). Damaged water infrastructure in turn can lead to impaired water quality with resultant human health effects.
Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) is currently being promoted across the Caribbean region as a key low cost and low technology water supply augmentation method. It is seen as a means to improve resilience to water related climate impacts at both, the national and community level. While prevalent in the past, there are only approximately 500,000 persons currently in the Caribbean who depend at least partially on RWH.
The case study outlines actions taken in the region and lessons learnt in mainstreaming RWH in building climate resilience in the Caribbean water sector.