An assessment of the economic impact of climate change on the water sector in Saint Vincent and The Grenadines
UN SymbolLC/CAR/L .330
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Water security which is essential to life and livelihood, health and sanitation, is determined not only by the water resource, but also by the quality of water, the ability to store surplus from precipitation and runoff, as well as access to and affordability of supply. All of these measures have financial implications for national budgets. The water sector in the context of the assessment and discussion on the impact of climate change in this paper includes consideration of the existing as well as the projected available water resource and the demand in terms of: quantity and quality of surface and ground water, water supply infrastructure - collection, storage, treatment, distribution, and potential for adaptation. Wastewater management infrastructure is also considered a component of the water sector. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has two distinct hydrological regimes: mainland St Vincent is one of the wetter islands of the eastern Caribbean whereas the Grenadines have a drier climate than St Vincent. Surface water is the primary source of water supply on St Vincent, whereas the Grenadines depend on man-made catchments, rainwater harvesting, wells, and desalination. The island state is considered already water stressed as marked seasonality in rainfall, inadequate supply infrastructure, and institutional capacity constrains water supply. Economic modelling approaches were implemented to estimate sectoral demand and supply between 2011 and 2050. Residential, tourism and domestic demand were analysed for the A2, B2 and BAU scenarios. In each of the three scenarios – A2, B2 and BAU Saint Vincent and the Grenadines will have a water gap represented by the difference between the two curves during the forecast period of 2011 and 2050. The amount of water required increases steadily between 2011 and 2050 implying an increasing demand on the country‘s resources as reflected by the fact that the water supply that is available cannot respond adequately to the demand. The Global Water Partnership in its 2005 policy brief suggested that the best way for countries to build the capacity to adapt to climate change will be to improve their ability to cope with today‘s climate variability (GWP, 2005). This suggestion is most applicable for St Vincent and the Grenadines, as the variability being experienced has already placed the island nation under water stress. Strategic priorities should therefore be adopted to increase water production, increase efficiency, strengthen the institutional framework, and decrease wastage. Cost benefit analysis was stymied by data availability, but the ―no-regrets approach‖ which intimates that adaptation measures will be beneficial to the land, people and economy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines with or without climate change should be adopted.
.-- Executive Summary.--I. Introduction.--II.Literature review.--III. Analysis of Climate for guidance to the water sector.--IV. Socioeconomic setting vulnerabilities and threats.-- V. Climate Modelling and Water Supply.-- VI. Adaptation Strategies.--VII. Cost Benefit Considerations.-- VIII. Conclusions and Recommendations.
ECLAC SubtopicsCLIMATE CHANGE
United Nations SubtopicsSUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ; CLIMATE CHANGE ; WATER MANAGEMENT ; ECONOMIC RESEARCH ; TEMPERATURE ; CLIMATE ; WATER RESOURCES ; AGRICULTURE ; TOURISM ; DEMOGRAPHIC RESEARCH ; LAND SETTLEMENT ; NATURAL DISASTERS ; WATER SUPPLY ; COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS ; IRRIGATION ; DESALINATION ; PROJECT EVALUATION ; ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ; ECONOMIC ASPECTS ; ENERGY POLICY
Country / RegionSAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES