Our Readers' Opinions
January 10, 2014
It’s all about water

Fri Jan 10, 2013

Editor: The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published an impartial scientific assessment of climate change and concluded, among other things that the frequency of heavy rainfall events is very likely to increase.{{more}}

Certainly these occurrences will have severe implications for living and livelihood in small island developing states such as StVincent and the Grenadines. Believe it or not, being willing and able to adapt or not, may be either an individual or state’s decision; but the signs are obvious.

Heavy rainfall events are part and parcel of daily life for Vincentians. The million dollar question is: how can we live a productive and sustainable life as a nation and individuals with the increased frequency of heavy rainfall events.

Although water availability, both in quantity and quality, defines our very existence, much can be accomplished just by respecting its existence and planning wisely. If one looks closely at water related issues, it can be concluded that most of our domestic water challenges can be linked to inadequate storage. In other words, find a suitable water storage solution and your water woes are solved. Investment in water tanks, secured public reservoirs and the construction of artificial acquirers cannot be ignored. Certainly, as the climate and the weather changes, so must our approach to water security and availability.

As water unavailability poses a public challenge to us, so does excessive water; certainly, the author is referring to flood. There is absolutely nothing that can be done presently to reduce intensity and frequency of heavy rainfall events, but by our actions and lifestyle we can lessen its impacts. One of the many viable options is the management of our water courses. The silent presence of lands in close proximity to rivers certainly encourages building developments. Likewise, the availability of free flowing rivers is temptation for the establishment of refuse disposal sites. While there are benefits to be derived from using the waterways, the consequences can be fatal and costly.

What’s the final message? Heavy rainfall events are part of our daily existence. The concept of a “one in a hundred years flood” has being shattered. With climate change today, 100 years flood may occur every three to 20 years. As we live our daily lives, it is important that water storage and water course management are placed on the priority list of national and individual agendas. Believe it or not, water makes us and it can certainly destroy us!

Neri James