The Impact of Climate Change on Water Supply

In the land of wood and water, the effects of climate change on water supply or hydrology, or the movement of water both on and below the earth’s surface, continues to garner increased attention. Recently world leaders gathered in Glasgow, Scotland for the COP26 Summit, to hash out an approach to mitigating the effects of climate change and protect the most vulnerable.

We explore how climate change has impacted Jamaica’s water resources and what actions may be necessary to prevent fresh water scarcity. Eleanor Terrelonge, Director and Founder of the Jamaica Climate Change Youth Council and Mark Barnett, President of the National Water Commission, (NWC), joined the CVM Live Panel Discussion to share on the topic.

In a response to the position of Jamaica as it relates to water sustainability, Ms. Terrelonge said Jamaica is not where it needs to be when it comes to the sustainability of water, as she noted that Jamaica is a developing state and with climate change it means a lot of the island’s resources will be more scare and water is indeed one of those resources. She also notes that the country is challenged with a what could be deemed as an annual drought, due to reduce rainfall and measures should be put in place to store water correctly.

Meanwhile, Mr. Barnett noted that as it relates to fresh water supply, the country currently has adequate, however, he added that this does not mean the country is not under threat; noting is agreement to Ms. Terrelonge listing of factors such as decreased rainfall. He added that one of the measures that must be implemented is the planting of trees in vulnerable areas.