Water is a scarce resource in Grenada and climate change has already begun to aggravate the problem with an increasing average temperature and more erratic rainfall. More frequent heavy rainfall events make water supply outages more common due to high turbidity in then raw water supply.
The above is a key consideration as the Ministry of Finance, Planning, Economic Development and Physical Development in collaboration with the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, Public Utilities, Energy, Transport and Implementation launched the Climate Resilient Water Sector in Grenada G-CREWS Project on Tuesday 25th February at the Grenada Trade Center.
Among the concerns that the project seeks to address; saltwater intrusion in coastal groundwater aquifers due to sea level rise will further reduce the availability of fresh water in the future. Not only the supply of drinking water to the population but also the growth of the Grenadian economy, mainly in the agriculture and tourism sector.
The government of Grenada and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) will implement the G-CREWS project jointly financed by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment. Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) under its International Climate Initiative (IKI). Over the next six years, the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Physical Development; Ministry of Infrastructure Development, Public Utilities, Energy, Transport and Implementation; the Grenada Development Bank (GDB) and the National Water and Sewage Authority (NAWASA) in partnership with GIZ will implement the project with a total budget of 42.297 Million Euros, approximately $135 million XCD.
To avoid climate-induced water shortages in the future, this project supports Grenada’s water sector in using water resources more efficiently and improving water availability. This will ensure resilience to climate variability and expected future climate change until 2050. The main objective of the G-CREWS project is to increase systemic climate resilience in Grenada’s water sector.
The project supports the water sector’s comprehensive transformation on multiple levels, which represents a nationwide ‘paradigm shift’ for Grenada’s overall resilience. This approach involves citizens and businesses as water users and the public sector as the provider of potable water and infrastructure. Through appropriate governance, regulation, economic incentives and raising awareness, behavioral changes will be triggered.
The water company NAWASA, responsible for the drinking water supply of approximately 111,959 citizens and the several hundred thousand tourists coming to Grenada each year will improve their services through the installation of enhanced water supply systems and modern procedures in operation and maintenance.
The project will be developed in the following five components; Climate resilient water governance, Climate resilient water users, Climate resilient water supply system, additional contributors of the water sector to Grenada’s climate goals and regional learning and replication.
All citizens of Grenada inclusive of the agricultural and commercial sectors will benefit from better water supply services, especially in times of drought and after extreme weather events.
With the set-up of a Water Resource Management Unit, Grenada strengthens the overall water governance of the tri-island state and will set out the conditions for sustainable water resource management.
The Grenada Development Bank will set up and administer the Challenge Fund that assists grant recipients on agriculture and tourism to integrate water saving measures into their daily businesses.
Through infrastructure improvement and the supply of additional storage tanks, Grenada will ensure that water supply is stabilized even throughout increasing droughts or disaster.
The financeable viability of the water service structure will be supported by bringing the running costs, such as electricity costs down, by exploring and implementing renewable energy and energy efficiency measures.
The project supports Grenada in becoming a regional front-runner for climate-resilient water management. Other Caribbean countries will benefit from the constant sharing of success stories and lessons learnt from the G-CREWS project.