Sunday, July 20, 2014

Caribbean Grapples with Intense New Cycles of Flooding and Drought

St Lucia facing drought worries (Credit: Click to enlarge.
As unpredictable weather patterns impact water availability and quality in St. Lucia, the Caribbean island is moving to build resilience to climate-related stresses in its water sector.

Dr. Paulette Bynoe, a specialist in community-based disaster risk management, climate change adaptation policy, and environmental management, says integrated water resource management is critical.  "All governments must work together within the region and lessons learnt in one country can be translated to other countries." 

On Jul. 9, the St. Lucia Water and Sewage Company (WASCO) placed the entire island under a water emergency schedule as the drought worsened.  The government has described the current situation as a "water crisis".

Bynoe said what's happening in St. Lucia and elsewhere in the Caribbean is consistent with the projections of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Climate Modeling Group from the University of the West Indies.

She noted that the models are saying there can either be too little water or too much water, either of which could create serious problems for the Caribbean.

For St. Lucia and its neighbours, Bynoe said lack of financial resources tops the list of challenges when it comes to disaster mitigation and adapting new measures in reference to hydro-climatic disasters.

Caribbean Grapples with Intense New Cycles of Flooding and Drought

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