Information Officer I (Ag.)
Department of Information and Public Relations
Director of the Water and Sewerage Department, Mrs. Perline Scatliffe-Leonard said that it is everyone’s responsibility to conserve water and is reminding residents to be mindful of how the commodity is utilised.
The reminder comes as the Territory joins in the global observation of World Water Day on Sunday, March 22 under the theme “Water and Climate Change”.
Mrs. Scatliffe-Leonard said that Climate Change impacts every facet of life and that one of the main resources it negatively affects is water which is needed to execute various tasks.
The director said, “We know that as the climate gets warmer, water evaporates more from both land and the ocean; and so we can agree that the manner in which we use water can be dictated by Climate Change, given that less water is available. As a result, we cannot stress enough that it is everyone’s responsibility to conserve this precious resource.”
Mrs. Scatliffe-Leonard added that the Water and Sewerage Department has been constant in studying and revising plans geographically unique to the Territory’s location in the Caribbean with an acute consideration to the disasters it is prone to, such as hurricanes, earthquakes and floods.
“Our infrastructure has been strengthened so that we are able to provide water service to our customers after these events, even if our reservoirs are destroyed. We have been preparing, and in most cases we are continually improving on and maintaining our goal of 100% readiness in our preparations,” the director added.
Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Mr. Joseph Smith Abbott said fighting climate change will open up vast opportunities for the economy in many areas.
Mr. Smith Abbott said, “We need to embrace systems that make more efficient use of water. As the global population grows, so does the demand for water, which depletes natural resources and damages the environment in many places.”
He said the solutions include protecting areas that absorb carbon from the atmosphere such as oceans and wetlands, adopting climate-smart agricultural techniques, and increasing the safe reuse of wastewater. “Water is our most precious resource and we must use it more responsibly,” Mr. Smith Abbott stressed.
One of the goals of celebrating World Water Day is to raise awareness of the billions of people around the world that do not have access to potable water.
World Water Day has been observed every year on March 22 by the United Nations since 1993 to focus on the importance of freshwater.
The Water and Sewerage Department continues to work towards ensuring the provision of a continuous supply of safe potable water and an environmentally sound sewage disposal service to all residents of the Virgin Islands, efficiently and at affordable rates. The Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration equally serves to conserve natural resources that are vital to mitigate the impacts of climate change.