Hydrometry workshop held
May 22, 2009
Hydrometry workshop held

St. Vincent and the Grenadines was recently the venue for a major hydrometry workshop, which was designed to deliver “comprehensive knowledge” on and improve “basic understanding” of hydrometric networks.{{more}}

The 3-day workshop, which took place at the Sunset Shores Hotel from May 18 – 20, was jointly hosted by the Caribbean Renewable Energy Development Programme (CREDP-GTZ); the Global Environment Facility-funded Integrating Watershed and Coastal Areas Management (GEF-IWCAM) Project; the government of SVG; the SEBA Hydrometrie GmbH (Germany), and Egis BCEOM International.

In opening remarks, CREDP-GTZ representative Sven Homscheid revealed that the workshop aims to provide information on: the purpose of hydrometric networks, guidelines for design, the most recent measuring technology, and to exchange information among countries in the regions. In essence, after participating in the workshop, decision makers and managerial level technicians should have their understanding of the process enhanced.

Homscheid further explained the function of CREDP-GTZ in the Caribbean. “Our task in the Caribbean region is to promote renewable energies and, among others, hydropower.” He cited other such renewable energies as wind power, bio-fuel and solar water heating.

Additionally, Homscheid pointed out that the Caribbean region produces a lot of water, so it is an ideal place to employ hydrometric networks. Therefore, water management is of utmost importance, especially in areas such as hydropower, human consumption, flood protection, sewerage water treatment and meteorology.

David Milton, a British-chartered Engineer representing Egis BCEOM, encouraged participants to “learn from each other and move what we’ve got forward into the new technologies.” Milton continued: “Hydrological data forms the basis for planning and design.”

Dr. Christopher Cox, who delivered his address on behalf of GEF-IWCAM, is the Programme Director (Ag) with the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute (CEHI), and was adamant about the need to “implement an integrated approach to the management of watersheds and coastal areas.” Cox believes that including communities and schools in projects can expand their capacities.

He expressed that the GEF-IWCAM supports the improvement of hydrometry on a global level, and is of the opinion that we need to take action to avoid conflict over scarce water supplies. “Shortages of water contribute to poverty and hardship in many countries, including the Caribbean.”

Hydrometry is the monitoring of the earth’s water cycle including rainfall, groundwater characteristics, water quality, and flow characteristics of surface waters.

Dr Roger Duncan, Medical Health Officer, also delivered brief remarks.(JSV)