Met Service, WRA partner to tackle climate change

Jamaica Observer,

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Water Resources Authority (WRA) and the Meteorological Service are collaborating to better serve the population in emergency responses and preparation, through data sharing.

Under a memorandum of understanding (MOU), signed between the two entities yesterday at the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation in New Kingston, they will be sharing information to mitigate climate change impacts.

The partnership will also enable them to refine floodplain maps across the island, conduct feasibility studies for flood early warning systems in several communities, and boost the preparation of flood inundation reports, whenever flooding is reported.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator Pearnel Charles Jr, who signed the MOU, said an important goal for small island developing states (SIDS) is to take the necessary steps and implement adaptation strategies to minimise the effects of climate change.

“A goal for us now is to make sure that we are making the most efficient use of all the resources that have been provided, maintaining the equipment that we are utilising, and effectively utilise the data to carry out the mandate,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, Head of the Meteorological Service of Jamaica, Evon Thompson, who also signed the MOU, said the agency will “immediately” benefit from the agreement, as it will “access a platform that allows for the visualisation of water increase on the ground”, and to more adequately “verify predictions”.

For his part, Managing Director of the WRA, Peter Clarke, who also signed the MOU, said it will establish “better security of life and property” and more accurately “determine safer and unsafe areas”.

The WRA is mandated to ensure the sustainability of Jamaica’s water resources, through continual assessment and proper management, through promotion of conservation, and to reduce conflicts among water users, while the Met Service is tasked with foreseeing, and to prevent man-made changes in the climate that might be adverse to the well-being of humanity.

— JIS