In the Caribbean as in other parts of the world, there are several communities that are forced to live without a regular supply of water to satisfy their very basic needs. In many cases, residents are left with few options, being forced to get water from nearby rivers, standpipes or even pay for water to be delivered to their homes by trucks.
The water situation can be more distressing in the region during the dry season as regular sources diminish and often times water rationing throughout the country comes into effect. A prime example of this was the severe drought several Caribbean territories struggled to cope with in December 2009 up to April of 2010. Various communities were greatly affected as water levels reached an all-time low with little or no water in reservoirs.
Increases in urbanisation, the crises of global economic recession and climate change; high energy and food costs are just some factor that cripple water-scarce communities as it presents the basic economic problem; excess demand matched by limited supply. Essentially, not enough water to meet the demands of people.
In light of limited access to water in water-deprived communities the question is “What can be done to improve the situation?” An integrated approach to water management presents a serious departure from traditional methods of water management in the Caribbean and a realistic way of achieving water sustainability.
GWP-C’s overall vision is to operationalise Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in the region. IWRM is a process of managing water, land and related resources in a way that meets society’s long-term need for water while ensuring that economic and social welfare is not compromised and that there is no harm to the environment. Embodied in the diverse IWRM process is the need for the inclusion of stakeholders at all levels and sectors.
Global Water Partnership-Caribbean's (GWP-C's) activities and projects are all grounded in the drive to obtain regional commitment towards Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) implementation in the region.
Since 2005, GWP-C and its partner, the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) co-convene an Annual High Level Session (HLS) for Caribbean Water Ministers in order to build political support for Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) at the national and regional level. To date, the HLS is an unmatched regional event, being the only meeting of Caribbean Water Ministers.
GWP-C engages in and develops activities aimed at building awareness on the implementation of IWRM in the Caribbean.
GWP-C provides training and technical expertise in some of the following areas:
- IWRM in the Caribbean
- IWRM and Climate Change
- Climate Change and Disaster Management
- Water and Sanitation
- Empowering Youth to Respond to Climate Change
- IWRM Training for Caribbean Media Practitioners
- Economic and Financial instruments for IWRM (Water Financing)
- Water Use Efficiency in the Agriculture and Tourism Sectors
- Impacts and Policy Implications for Water Resources Management
- Hydro-climatic Disasters in Water Resources Management
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