The observance comes at a time of significant challenges to supplying high quality water in sufficient quantity, said a government official.
The Federation’s water system is rain-fed. Most of the supply comes from wells tapped into underground aquifers. The challenges are varied. Since the 2001 population census, there has been a 10% increase in the resident population. In addition, the needs of agriculture, tourism and industry add to the increasing demand for water, stated the government representative.
Given the critical importance attached to the conservation and best practices for water use in St. Kitts and Nevis, senior officials of the Ministry of Health in the Federation, joined their public sector colleagues in the Water Department on Monday, to ensure that the observance of Water Day, was given the type of focus necessary, to broaden the scope of just how we are impacted by this natural resource.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), water availability is expected to change, both in quantity and quality, because of the effect of climate change. There is greater risk of damage to water sources, storm water and wastewater facilities caused by the impact of floods, droughts, or extreme events. Sea level rise may increase the salination of underground aquifers, said a government statement.
Globally, water security is rapidly declining in many parts of the world and there are real concerns that more conflicts and wars will erupt over water sources.
In the Federation, successive governments have invested in expanding and improving the water infrastructure through training, construction of wells and reservoirs, the laying of pipes and chemical disinfection. Residents continue to receive a reliable supply of water. Safety is assured by chlorination procedures done under strict international standards.
Going forward, the water sector and the rest of the society have to make adjustments in the organization, management, delivery and use of water because of increased demand, possible weather-related supply disruptions and increased cost for operations.
Water is life-sustaining. Water constitutes 60% of normal body weight. A human cannot survive more than 48 hours without water. Severe dehydration from diarrheal illnesses such as cholera causes death in 6 hours.
Potable water and good sanitation are the two most important contributing factors to the improved health of the nation and advanced quality of life. Water is essential for the good personal health and hygiene, and sustainable development of the nation.
Residents are encouraged to continue contributing to the integrity of water system by paying their bills, promptly reporting broken pipes and security breaches at reservoirs and sources, and practicing conservation and water recycling for gardening.
“Support and salute the workers of the Water Services Departments in their professional and tireless efforts to ensure water security for our islands,” encouraged a government official.