In Antigua and Barbuda this year’s World Water Day celebration commemorates the life of the late Ivan Rodrigues, former Manager of the Water Business Unit of Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) by renaming the Shell Beach Reverse Osmosis plant in his honour.
Rodrigues died suddenly on June 9th 2018.
World Water Day is being celebrated today, March 22ndunder the theme ‘Leaving no one behind.’
The global event focuses on the importance of fresh water and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.
Antigua and Barbuda is currently in a dry season and despite the depletion of surface water catchments, the Manager APUA’s Water Business Unit, Ian Lewis, said in an interview with OBSERVER that “we are still continuing to make water a priority in Antigua and Barbuda in terms of its sustainable development”.
Lewis therefore encouraged consumers to conserve the precious resource as the utility company tries to lessen the impact of the drought.
“Very soon, if there is no rainfall probably [by] the end of June, we will be reverting back to almost 100 percent desalination production for potable water,” Lewis added.
The World Water Day Website says “Sustainable Development Goal 6 is crystal-clear water for all by 2030. By definition, this means leaving no one behind. But today, billions of people are still living without safe water – their households, schools, workplaces, farms and factories struggling to survive and thrive.”
The day is about tackling the water crisis by addressing the reasons why so many people are being neglected based on the tenet that “Whoever you are, wherever you are, water is your human right.”
The website further explains that marginalized groups – women, children, refugees, indigenous peoples, disabled people and many others – are often overlooked and sometimes face discrimination as they try to access and manage the safe water they need.
The APUA water manager also revealed that new plants will be built at Ffryes Beach and Fort James, and these are expected to accommodate 440,000 and 500,000 gallons of water, respectively.
However these new installations are not scheduled to come online until later this year, Lewis said.