Two Caribbean organizations among 78 semi-finalists selected from around the world for Water ChangeMaker Awards

News > The Caribbean

By STEM Caribbean | Posted on October 10, 2020

In less than two weeks, the Global Water Partnership (GWP) will announce the finalists of the Water ChangeMaker Awards 2020. After over two months of screening and judging, 78 semi-finalists from around the world were announced in September. Two of the 78 semi-finalists include submissions from the National Water and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA) of Grenada and the National Institute of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (NIHERST) of Trinidad and Tobago.  

On World Water Day this year, the GWP launched the Water ChangeMaker Awards to highlight organizations and individuals who contributed to climate resilience by influencing decisions involving water with an ongoing initiative or one that concluded within the last 5 years.   

This year eligible submissions were selected from submissions by organizations in over 80 countries. According to the GWP, the eligible submissions were then evaluated by international independent experts and leaders in water management and climate resilience. Semi-finalists were chosen based on this evaluation.  

NAWASA’s project in Grenada titled Grenada Climate-Resilient Water Sector (G-CREWS) is ongoing and targets incorporating climate resilience into Grenada’s water supply. This multimillion-dollar project addresses freshwater availability and disaster preparedness.  

The team at NAWASA said that “Water is a scarce resource in Grenada and climate change has already begun to aggravate the problem with increasing average temperature and more erratic rainfall.”  

Also, according to the team, surface water supplies most of Grenada’s water, and 90% of the water on Grenada’s mainland is collected from rainwater. Consequently, water availability has been mainly affected by declining precipitation, increasing average temperatures, and erratic rainfall.   

Another factor that affects water availability in Grenada mentioned by the team at NAWASA is aging infrastructure, which contributes to non-revenue water (water that is lost before reaching users).   

The project submitted by the NIHERST team in Trinidad and Tobago is also ongoing. The team developed the Environmental Solutions for Sustainable Communities (ESSC) Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) programme.  

“Water availability, based on the island’s demand and conservation practices is a concern. One of the challenges being faced by Water Authorities WASA, is that the demand for water was more than the output by some 25 million gallons daily, Taitt, R. (2020, February),” NIHERST noted in their project submission.   

Identifying rainwater harvesting as “cost-effective practical steps” for “adaptation and building resilience,” NIHERST saw that a viable solution was to introduce safe and modern rainwater harvesting practices in schools and community centers in communities lacking water. The sites selected are disaster shelters, according to NIHERST.   

On October 21, the GWP will announce the finalists who will go on to the second evaluation stage. Each finalist will be invited to the UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 26), expected to take place in Glasgow in 2021, where the winners will be announced.   

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