Wastewater reuse in the Eastern Caribbean: a case study


Wastewater reuse is now widely recognised as an important source of water supply in water-scarce countries and a solution to environmental problems associated with untreated wastewater discharge. In the Eastern Caribbean, competition for potable water between tourism and local domestic needs has seen a growth of desalination treatment plants. The need for water by the tourism sector peaks during the dry season when availability is at its minimum. While desalination has been utilised to meet growing demands, hotels and resorts are now required, in many cases, to treat wastewater to a high standard to meet environmental standards so that the coastal areas, on which these hotels and resorts depend, are protected. This paper discusses the potential of wastewater reuse in the main tourism-dependent islands in the Eastern Caribbean. The nexus between desalination and wastewater reuse allows the hotels and resorts sector to reduce the overall costs of water supply, overcome shortages in the dry season and meet stringent wastewater disposal requirements, as it was found that wastewater reuse can meet up to 38% of total needs. In many of the islands, there are suitable conditions for promoting wastewater reuse.


Everson James Peters
Lecturer, University of the West Indies, Port of Spain, Trinidad