Wed | Jun 7, 2023

Strategies to weather drought

Published:Saturday | July 12, 2014 | 12:00 AM


I have observed in the press lately that all talk of drought mitigation is focusing on sucking the land dry of every last remaining drop of groundwater. This is a prescription for disaster.

I recommend (again, as many have done so before) three strategies for mitigation against drought.

1 Make covered water tanks compulsory. Every building should have a tank that stores at least three days' supply. It should be compulsory for all new construction and phased in for already-existing structures. This will multiply the storage capacity and protect it from evaporation.

2 In the short term, return to the 1980s practice of cloud-seeding to produce rain. The technology has improved significantly and the same mistakes should not recur.

3 In the long term, build and commission desalination plants powered by wind turbines at breezy coastal locations. Pump the purified water to storage tanks uphill, above populous towns and cities. A short pipeline could keep the Mona Reservoir permanently full.

With these measures, we could have a consistent water supply. Stop the chatter about damming the Rio Cobre, and decommission the Yallahs pipeline to return St Thomas to its former green glory.


Kingston 8