Water Auditors Advance Conservation Efforts

Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 12, 2013 (SKNIS): The Water Services Department (WSD) is continuing its yearlong activities to encourage effective use of the resource by training 17 persons to become water auditors.

water-conservation-st-kitts-nevis-03The individuals were trained at a May 27 – 30 workshop held under the Reducing the Risks to Human and Natural Assets, Resulting from Climate Change (RRACC) project – which is an initiative of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and is sponsored by USAID.

According to a press release from the Water Services Department, the auditors are “equipped with the skills to assess how citizens efficiently and wisely use water in their homes, businesses, public buildings and schools.”

They will spend the next three days (June 12 – 15) practicing the techniques at various institutions including the Abattoir, Verchilds High School, St. Pauls Primary School, the St. Kitts Bottling Company, Basseterre Health Centre and the Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI). Private homes in Parsons Village, Carifesta Village and Frigate Bay will also be audited.

“Conducting water audits will help us see if, and where, our water is being wasted and by how much,” Assistant Water Engineer Dr. Halla Sahely said. “It will help us to correct these losses now and in the future.”

Preliminary estimates from the WSD suggest that “significant loss of the water distributed in St. Kitts takes place from leakage both on the utility side and on the customer side.” This represents a significant value and Dr. Sahely noted that reducing the figures by 50% would not only save money, but also ensure the environmental sustainability of the resource.

This effort to conserve water is made even more critical given projections that some 2.8 billion people in 48 countries around the world will face water stress and scarcity by the year 2025. Climate change is also expected to adversely affect the quantity and quality of Federation’s water supply.

“Climate change is also expected to impact food security, human health and the tourism sector so the time to become climate smart and water wise and to rally to action is now,” Dr. Sahely stressed.

A water conservation plan for the island has also been developed under the local RRACC component – dubbed St. Kitts: Water Sector Assessment, auditing and conservation. The plan is designed to facilitate a public education and communication campaign.

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