Using RWH to Mitigate Water Shortages in Jamaica

Only when we double down on rainwater harvesting will water scarce communities across the Caribbean and Africa grab the opportunity to unleash creativity and grassroots innovation to increase their fresh water supplies.

Rainwater harvesting is happening today, but in fits and starts and in silos.  

If done properly, soon a new set of workers across diaspora countries will get the message and really believe that their skills are needed in water management.

Here are three steps that need to be taken now to turn the tide:  

  1. Establish certifications pathways for rainwater harvesting installers and inspectors. Such certification pathways do not exist today in either the Caribbean or Africa. This is the first signal for workers to see that their countries are finally taking this essential water supply option seriously. The Hello Rain Team is working with organizations like UNEP in Jamaica to develop the base curriculum.  
  2. Create new work opportunities for young people such as tank building, installation, tank cleaning, etc. A strategic focus on rainwater harvesting provides a new path for bottom-up empowerment and solidarity.
  3. Invest in new digital technologies such as sensors, mobile apps, drones that support the new rainwater ecosystem in improving situational awareness and data driven metrics around ensuring water for all.

Harvested rainwater provides locations with no grid connection or intermittent service with a means to increasing self-sufficiency.  Additionally, maximizing low-cost options like rainwater harvesting, taking every drop that is available and putting it to work, does two things - i) It builds up a muscle that has atrophied - the infrastructure maintenance muscle -  and allows a transfer of skills over to other off-grid supply options such as streams and wells and ii) It provides countries with some breathing room to rethink new arrangements for managing the centralized grid.

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