Caribbean and Central America Join Forces on Rainwater Harvesting

GWP Central America hosted a regional workshop on Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) on 22-23 September in El Salvador. The workshop brought together practitioners from across the region. GWP Caribbean also took part, under the theme “Considerations for Implementing Policies and Practices Related to Rainwater Harvesting and Addressing Climate Change.”

This Central American workshop, builds on a 2014 “Caribbean Knowledge Exchange Workshop on Rainwater Harvesting” in St. Lucia hosted by GWP Caribbean and Partners.  At that workshop, two representatives from GWP Central America participated and gained valuable knowledge about RWH best practices in the Caribbean. To continue the collaboration and inter-regional exchange of ideas, GWP Caribbean subsequently participated in the Central American workshop in El Salvador, to share the most recent developments (post 2014), in RWH Policy and Practice in the Caribbean. 

GWP Caribbean was represented by Dr. Natalie Boodram, the region's Programme Manager of the Water, Climate and Development Programme (WACDEP). Dr. Boodram delivered three presentations at the regional workshop focusing on RWH technical, policy and legislative aspects, as well as, sectoral case studies. In addition to Dr. Boodram, Ms. Dianne Wells, representing GWP Caribbean’s Partner, the National Institute for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (NIHERST) of Trinidad and Tobago, also participated in the workshop. Ms. Wells shared experiences from community disaster preparedness RWH projects jointly executed by NIHERST and GWP Caribbean, along with other Partners in Trinidad and Tobago. At the workshop, GWP Caribbean was also able to share valuable information about the development and use of its Caribbean RWH Toolbox. 

Dr. Boodram’s presentations were informed by rapid consultations with Caribbean Partners involved in RWH on their latest work and experiences. In particular, GWP Caribbean would like to thank Dr. Everson Peters of The University of the West Indies (UWI), who permitted GWP-C to share some of his most recent work on RWH. 

Dr. Peterson’s work included a case study on desalination for augmentation of RWH in the Grenadines and a study on success factors in domestic RWH projects in the Caribbean. GWP Caribbean also shared a case study by Mr. Gregory Gibbs Bakie of Coconut Bay Resort in St. Lucia, where RWH was used to supply water to the Resort’s numerous pools and water features. 

A synopsis of the workshop and presentations in Spanish are available here.Outputs and resources from the workshop (in English), will soon be shared on GWP Caribbean’s RWH Toolbox and its Caribbean Water and Climate Knowledge Platform which was developed under its WACDEP. 

The workshop was considered very successful by participants and the organisers. The wealth of experiences and practices in RWH from the regions was extremely valuable. A key outcome from the workshop was the identification of technical considerations and recommendations which will be documented and shared at the country level to support inclusion in policies and practices related to Rainwater Harvesting in Central America.