Meteorologist: Harvest rain to solve water shortages

Chief climatologist at the Meteorological Office Kenneth Kerr. 

File photo/Roger Jacob
Chief climatologist at the Meteorological Office Kenneth Kerr. File photo/Roger Jacob

In an effort to increase water conservation while meeting the daily demand, acting chief climatologist for Met Services Kenneth Kerr suggests the public increases efforts to harvest rainwater for their daily needs.

He was speaking at a joint select committee meeting on land and physical infrastructure at the Cabildo Building, St Vincent Street, Port of Spain, on Monday.

Kerr said arid countries like Australia have been successful in using rainwater-harvesting techniques and such efforts were encouraged and incentivised by the Australian government.

He suggested similar practices could be implemented locally to reduce the strain on reservoirs while ensuring a steady supply of water.

"The country in general needs to move to a level where we utilise rainwater-harvesting in greater ways.

"In Australia, if you connect your toilets or washing machine to a rainwater tank, you get a payout from the government, and that government, by policy, ensures the education systems in school ensures that they are rainwater-harvesting to flush their toilets."

Chairman of the committee Deoroop Teemal asked permanent secretary in the Ministry of Public Utilities Nicolette Duke whether any plans were underway to increase rainwater harvesting.

She said while projects were being considered, they were still in the research phase.

Kerr highlighted the need for a more aggressive conservation and storage campaign, citing repeated unusual weather events through the El Nino phenomenon over the past decade.

"The El Nino phenomenon typically brings much drier than usual conditions in TT, and since 2010 we have had this unusual phenomenon where we have seen three significant El Nino events in terms of the impacts happening in a relatively short period of time. So these are the impacts on rainfall that affect our water security in TT."


"Meteorologist: Harvest rain to solve water shortages"

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