JIS News

The Water Resources Authority (WRA) has implemented a project to assess the potential for rainwater harvesting across the island, Minister of Water and Housing, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, has said.
Speaking in the 2010/11 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives Tuesday (May 18), Dr. Chang said that the objective is to analyse the rainfall data for stations in elevated areas with rainfall above a threshold value, to determine the feasibility, system and design for effective rainwater harvesting to augment the country’s water supply.
In addition, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) requested that the WRA expand the project to include two pilot agricultural areas, where rainwater can be harnessed for irrigation purposes. The project is expected to be completed within six months.
Dr. Chang also announced that the WRA is still seeking to upgrade the national hydrologic data network, with the installation of data loggers in wells and at river sites. He said that, in addition, there was also the upgrade of six stations, under the Caribbean Hydrological Cycle Observation System (CaribHYCOS) project, to provide real-time data/information.
“The data collected will allow for a more robust analysis of climate variability and change on water resources, and the provision of information for the determination of action to be taken to mitigate the impacts,” Dr. Chang informed.
He said the drought updates provided by the WRA, are based on information collected from the hydrologic monitoring network.
“Nowhere else in the Caribbean is there a similar network that allows for the provision of data on a monthly basis, to provide support for the management of the water supply in such a severe drought,” Dr. Chang stated.
He said that the hydrologic information from the WRA also provided input into the report on the Caribbean water situation, for the CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting in Dominica in March.
Rainwater harvesting is the gathering, or accumulating and storing, of rainwater and has been used to provide water for drinking, livestock and irrigation or to refill aquifers in a process called groundwater recharge. The water is usually collected from the roofs of houses, tents and local institutions, or from specially prepared areas of ground, and can make an important contribution to the availability of drinking water.
The WRA is mandated to regulate, allocate and conserve Jamaica’s water resources.

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