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  • Article: Freshwater Situation in the Caribbean

Article: Freshwater Situation in the Caribbean

11 February 2022

From islands with no permanent flowing streams to those with inland waters, the Caribbean contains a great range of conditions regarding the access to freshwater resources. The ability of islands in the region to retain freshwater varies due to land territory and position of the island in Atlantic Ocean. There are two major drivers of freshwater usage in the region: An increasing demand of basic water in urban population, as well as the tourism-based economies. The implementation of preservation of freshwater practices also varies widely and are very island specific, some rely on informal conservation approaches on individual level, and some on governmental programmes, however most islands have integrated the tactics at some levels.

In this blog you will learn more about: Water Security, The drivers of insecurity, Surface Water, Groundwater, Implementation Strategies on Governmental level, and the Outlook on future.




Water Security

Evidence on the growing importance of global water scarcity can be attached to multiple United Nations Sessions being held in preparation to 2023 UN Water Decade Conference. Sustainability and an accelerated action plan to address worldwide Water Security issue are on top of the agenda, the headline being “To recognize water as one of the top security concerns facing the global community”. In other words, the World is at risk that the growing water insecurity can lead to social unrest.

The SDG - Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations consist of 17 key topics, such as: Poverty, Affordable Clean Energy, Peace, etc. The idea is to address the most striking and important global issues and make changes in those industries one by one. The topic of Water is raised more often than any other, starting with dealing with toxic wastes, cleaning the rubbish island, and continuing with a long list of actions to minimise the human impact on the worldwide ecosystems.

On a smaller scale UNESCO has raised the issue on the islands surrounded by saline water, that are prone to intrusions, as part of the Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) programme. 71% of SIDS risk of water shortage, a figure than may rise to 91% with particularly low altitude. It is a major challenge for the countries that are at risk of floods, tsunamis, and hurricanes.

Water Security is seen as an integral part of human security and is crucial to the achievement of other rights, such as the right to life, education, health, and housing. The key is to be able to afford freshwater at an adequate pricing, while preserving the ecosystems that provide water to begin with.


The common elements of Water Security are defined by The 4 As.