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LETTER OF THE DAY: Government should plan for future water woes

Published:Saturday | February 20, 2010 | 12:00 AM


THE PERENNIAL drought plaguing the country is cause for concern, and history has taught us that if we fail to plan we plan to fail. Since global warming has affected our weather pattern, we have a fairly good idea what may happen in six months' time. The hurricane season is coming up which, more often than not, brings a lot of rain. I would therefore like to make the following suggestions to Dr Horace Chang, minister of water and housing:

1. Currently, in China and Brazil, rooftop rainwater harvesting is being practised for providing drinking water, domestic water, water for livestock, water for small irrigation and a way to replenish ground water levels. Embark on an agressive public education campaign on the different ways to store and stop wasting water, how to treat it, and the benefits of harvesting water from the roof for future use.

2. Do a feasability study forthwith on our network of rivers, streams and wells and establish, rehabilitate and/or expand our pumping facilities to make more of this precious commodity available to all.

3. Construct more catchment facilities with capacities greater than those of the Mona Reservoir and Hermitage Dam in strategic points across Jamaica, for example, Mandeville, Junction, May Pen, St Thomas and St James, to provide water to the growing population.

4. Finally, put in place a system of accountability to ensure proper records are kept, inventory controls up to date, plants and equipment are maintained, and research the latest trends in water conservation techniques.

I am, etc.,

Rodwin Green