Barbadians are being asked to cut down on their energy use to help the country cope with the current drought.
“One of the ways we believe we can make Barbados better and stronger is to focus on energy, how do we make ourselves independent of the rest of the world when it comes to energy.
“By the way, making ourselves independent of the rest of the world when it comes to energy also helps us to develop a resilience to drought in our water supply that we have to talk about as well,” Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for energy Senator Darcy Boyce told a youth energy forum on Sustainable Energy: Reflecting on the Past, Looking to the Future, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre Thursday morning.
Boyce placed a number of options of the table, beginning with the economical use of water.
He told the young people attending the forum that the water services consumed more electricity that any other service because the water is pumped from underground systems.
Therefore, he said, a reduction in water usage will also result in savings on electricity.
For about a year now, residents in a number of parishes, particularly in the north and east of the island, have been experiencing various degrees of water outages blamed on the ongoing drought.
So dire was the situation that, earlier this year the Barbados Water Authority imposed a temporary ban on the use of water for a wide range of activities, including watering of gardens, lawns and grounds, as well as the washing of pavements and vehicles by hose.
The Freundel Stuart administration also recently agreed to import about two million litres of river water from Suriname in a trial shipment due to arrive here in time for Independence.
Boyce told the students the water shortages could also be eased through the effective use of the sewerage treatment systems.
“We have some sewerage systems, which we have to improve and move them to tertiary treatment stage . . . . If we go tertiary treatment in those sewerage systems we generate water that can recharge the aquifers and used for irrigation, and therefore to improve our agriculture. If we take the purified solids out of that treatment system, those purified solids can be used as biomass to generate electricity on an ongoing basis. All these are opportunities,” the spokesman on energy said.
He also promoted exploiting of ocean thermal energy for both electricity and potable water, “which then puts the matter of drought a lit bit further from us.
“We may still have the drought but we will have potable water in abundance to satisfy us. And that is something which I think our youngsters should know about and should be doing some work on,” said Boyce.