Sept / Oct 2016 | Business View Caribbean

22 September 2016 - Business View Caribbean Business View Caribbean - September 2016 23 Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association Handling unique water and waste challenges in the Islands The Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) is a regional, non-governmental organization established by an Act of Parliament in Trinidad & Toba- go in 1991. Originally formed by a group of engineers, the initial purpose was to leverage the experience of water and wastewater experts throughout the Carib- bean. One key aspect being considered at the time was whether they could become a certifying body for engineers in the water sector; providing the consisten- cy required to establish guidelines for certification of professional engineers in the region. Over time, the Association’s scope expanded to repre- sent water, wastewater, and solid waste professionals from public and private sectors. Today, CWWA mem- bership includes not only engineers, but practitioners, scientists, technicians, policy developers – anyone in- volved with water and waste management. Their mission is clear and commendable: CWWA brings together the Caribbean water and sanitation community for the protection of public health and the promotion of sustainable development. Through col- lective leadership, the Association positively influenc- es advancements in technology, education, science, management, and country and regional policies in the water and sanitation field. While the primary focus has been on water and waste- water, the CWWA now deals with a third component; solid waste and waste management. Support of ongo- ing education and training in water supply, wastewa- ter, and solid waste disposal, ensures an availability of skilled manpower and well-informed members of the public. The Association also encourages research and development in the water and waste sector, and publi- cation of the results, to further the goal of technologi- cal advances in the Caribbean. Conquering unique challenges CWWA President, Jason Johnson, emphasizes that there are unique characteristics of water management in the Caribbean. “People assume, since we are all part of the same region, that all the problems are the same,” he says. “That is not the case. We have water scarcities in some areas and flooding issues in oth- ers. All manner of things being influenced by climate change, by agricultural factors, by even the most con- ventional issues, like water mains that have been in use for decades and decades.” To best handle distinct regional differences, the CWWA has designated national sections. Larger islands in- cluding Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad, and Grenada each have one national section. Some of the smaller islands have sub-regional sections, giving them the ability to interact with one another. For example: Gua- deloupe and Martinique are part of a French section; Saint Lucia and Dominica are part of another. As small islands, they are able to share input on their needs, even though they may not have enough attendance to sustain a national section. AT A GLANCE WHO: Caribbean Water and Wastewater Associa- tion (CWWA) WHAT: The preeminent Association of profes- sionals and practitioners for water and waste sec- tors in the Caribbean WHERE: Based in Trinidad, W.I. WEBSITE :