In the Caribbean, high water demand, changes in land use, climate variabilities impacts, deforestation, soil erosion, pollution, inadequate wastewater treatment, and the overexploitation of water sources1, impact on the quantity and quality of available freshwater resources. The management of freshwater resources through an integrated approach is internationally recognised as a best practice for supporting the sustainability of this finite resource.
The recent United Nations - 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development report noted the low to medium-low levels of implementation of the integrated water resources management (IWRM) indicator 6.5.1 in the Caribbean SIDS. This low implementation rate can negatively impact attaining the SDG 6 targets of Agenda 2030. This study examines the IWRM implementation in the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. Among the areas assessed within the IWRM framework in each country were, an enabling environment, the institutional framework and management instruments.
The study provides policy recommendations for each of the IWRM components examined including recommendations for potable water management arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.