AS ST. KITTS and Nevis joins the international community to commemorate World Water Day 2022, deputy prime minister and Minister of Public Infrastructure, Shawn Richards has reminded Kittians of the consequences of wastage of the precious commodity.
World Water Day is celebrated on March 22 every year as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for its sustainable management.
Reflecting on this year’s theme “Groundwater: Making the Invisible Visible” Richards said during an address on March 19 that, “This theme is very appropriate for us here in St. Kitts and Nevis as over twothirds of our potable water supplies are derived from groundwater”. “Groundwater simply means that portion of rainfall that soaks into the ground and recharges our aquifers,” said Minister Richards.
He said that St. Kitts and Nevis has been drilling wells that allow for the use of groundwater since the early 1970s.
“The fact that we have been able to continue to meet the water demands of our rapidly developing country is due to our developing skills to tap into this invisible resource that lies beneath our feet,” the deputy prime minister added.
“Hydrogeologists tell us that on a tropical island such as ours, typically about 20 percent of rainfall infiltrates the ground and goes deep into the earth to become groundwater; thus, it is aptly described as ‘invisible’ as it is out of sight. Many of us often refer to this as the ‘water table.’ Through the process of well-drilling, we are able to bring this water from below ground to above ground and to distribute it to our houses and other institutions, thus making it visible.”
Pointing to a few facts about groundwater, Richards said that it is important to note that St. Kitts and Nevis Water Services Department “operates some twenty-eight (28) wells ranging in size from 20 to 400 gallons per minute with depths ranging from 84 to over 300 feet.”
“The volume of water that we can get from a well depends on a number of factors but the main one is the permeability of the rocks. It requires a lot of electricity to pump groundwater from beneath the earth to your taps: about five (5) Kilowatts or 1000 gallons, which costs about EC $4.50 per 1000 gallon,” said the minister. “Therefore, in St. Kitts, we must always remember that when we waste water we are not only wasting water, but we are also wasting electricity and tax dollars that could have been used elsewhere.”