Terra Caribbean - Blog

Water Zones & Development - Today

Thursday, May 07, 2020 | By Lisanne Graham , Leader - Advisory Services
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Water is vital to everyday living and we are constantly advised to do our best not to pollute our water sources, and ensure we drink as much as we can. But did you also know that water can significantly impact where you can build? Did you know that Barbados has been classified by the UN as the 15th most water-scarce country in the World, or that the majority of water-scarce nations on the UN list are located in the Middle East and the Caribbean? The critical nature of Barbados’ water scarcity is an important planning issue addressed through a multi-pronged systems approach, coupled with protection and conservation measures to ensure the long-term supply of freshwater. The source of all our local freshwater resources is rainfall. Some of this water is either trapped above the ground in surface impoundments (surface runoff) or infiltrates deep into the coral rock to become groundwater. The quality of our water is maintained through a number of factors and measures including Soil Cover, Coral Rock, and Groundwater Protection (Zoning) Policy. It is this policy, that directly impacts property development. Early in the 1960’s this policy was implemented to protect the island’s groundwater resources. The policy delineates the island into 5 zones (See Figure.1 below), with Zone 1 being the most restrictive in terms of development, while Zone 5 has no major restrictions for development.

 Water Zones In Barbados

Physical Development Plans

An updated draft Physical Development Plan (PDP) was prepared in 2017 with proposed changes to the Groundwater Protection Areas and new water. Stay tuned for next month’s blog where we’ll explore these changes aimed at facilitating further development while protecting this precious resource.

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