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Use wind energy to supply water to St Elizabeth

WORLD-renowned Jamaican expert on climate change, Professor Anthony
Chen, is urging the use of the wind as a cheaper source of power to
supply water to the traditionally drought-prone parishes of St Elizabeth
and Manchester.

Speaking at yesterday’s Observer Monday Exchange, Professor Chen said
the cost of wind energy was comparable with energy from fossil fuels,
which are currently being used, and had the advantage of being a
renewable energy source.

“We can think about using wind power — wind is very
strong in the St Elizabeth area — to pump water from the Black River to
higher storage areas (in the parish),” Chen told Observer reporters and

Professor Chen, who was a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change which won the Nobel Prize in 2007, also suggested
Mandeville as another area in need to be supplied water with the help of
renewable energy.

In the discussion on Jamaica’s water crisis, it was noted that the cost
of pumping water from areas of plenty to areas where there is little —
such as Mandeville — was not cost effective.

But Basil Fernandez, managing director of the Water Resources Authority,
said more Jamaicans needed to return to rainwater harvesting —
catching water in tanks from their rooftops — as was done many years

“Areas that have always used rainwater harvesting are still using it.
Those that did (in the past) need to go back to that to augment their
supplies of water from the National Water Commission,” he said.

He cautioned, however, that rainwater harvesting would not be suitable
to areas such as South St Elizabeth because of low levels of rainfall.

“We are using a statistical analysis of rainfall data to determine the
areas which offer the best potential for rainwater harvesting and
putting the programme in place in those areas”, he said.

Meantime, Dr Michael Taylor, who succeeded Professor Chen as head of the
climate studies group at the University of the West Indies, Mona, said
adaptation strategies such as rainwater harvesting, retrofitting of
bathrooms to use less water and the use of alternative energy were
“things we would have to do for sustainable development anyway”.

Category/ies:Jamaica News.
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