Stronger measures required for water quality managementTuesday, August 10, 2021
I have noticed that there is now an outcry about water quality management in the public space. It is unfortunate that another negative impact on the environment has resulted in significant damage to the biology of the Rio Cobre.
While others rush to assign blame, I would take it a step further and humbly suggest that a policy of continuing evaluation and reporting is pursued. This is not just to collect qualitative data, but to use technology to acquire real-time monitoring systems that provide direct reporting to regulatory bodies like the National Water Commission and the National Environment and Planning Agency, as well as the private entities operating near waterways.
In 2019 it was reported to the parliamentary representatives in the House that discussions were underway to have 15 million gallons of water per day from the Rio Cobre treated and included in the public water supply system. With all the concerns about water availability in the Corporate Area and the wider Jamaica, we need greater emphasis on the management of our water supply sources, as well as water usage.
I am suggesting that the Government and private sector consider mandating continuous automated water quality monitoring, as well as the phasing out of traditional shower heads, faucets, and toilets and replacing them with modern ones that use 30 per cent less water. This will mitigate against potable water concerns that are now an annual feature in Jamaica.
If these actions are paired with rainwater harvesting for existing and new developments, we will be on the right path to achieving our ambitions under the Jamaica National Development Plan and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030.
We are barrelling head first into doing irreparable damage to our environment if no serious actions are taken. If we continue to take a lax approach to proper environmental management, the effects on our collective livelihood, environment, and health will be devastating.