Terra Caribbean - Blog

Water Zones & Development - Tomorrow

Friday, June 26, 2020 | By Lisanne Graham , Leader - Advisory
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In our last blog, we looked at what the current water zones are across the island, and the restrictions in development as outlined in the Barbados Physical Development Plan (Amended) 2003. The Draft 2017 Physical Development Plan, outlines an update to the Groundwater Protection Act to reflect a refined approach to defining Groundwater Protection Areas and the delineation of new zones of protection. This new zoning approach divides the island into five areas, Zone A to Zone E shown in Figure 1 below: 

The policies related to each proposed zone will determine the level of infrastructure services, and waste disposal methods required and provide a framework for development control i.e. building. These are summarized in Table 1 below.









Pathogen Exclusion


Protection Areas 

Pathogen Management


Protection Areas 


Chemical Management


Protection Areas 




Protection Areas





Protection Areas 


To provide the Barbados Water Authority with a buffer zone immediately surrounding the well where they would have complete control in preventing any potential contamination. 

Management and regulation of pathogenic or chemical sources that can pose a threat to the public water supply.

Management and regulation of chemicals that can pose a threat to the public water supply

This is a groundwater aquifer recharge contributing area, where wastewater disposal will be regulated in a manner similar to the remainder of the limestone areas of the island.

Refers to areas outside of a protection zone and outside of the groundwater recharge area. This zone comprises areas where impermeable rock occurs at the surface and is generally confined to the Scotland District and Panhandle.

Restricted land uses and activities 

All land uses are prohibited in Zone A, with the exception of any land uses associated with the treatment and distribution of water



  • Sewage lagoons or any surface storage of chemicals
  • Sewage treatment via suck wells
  • Land application of manure-based fertilizer
  • Storage or disposal of manure
  • Activities that generate animal waste, manure, or other pathogenic contaminants
  • Waste disposal from meat or meat products facilities
  • Waste disposal from sugar factories, rum plants, or other manufacturing / industrial facilities
  • Zoos, animal sanctuaries and other facilities for the intensive housing of animals
  • Landfill




  • Storage and handling of fuel and fuel products
  • Storage and handling of dry-cleaning products
  • Chemical manufacturing and storage
  • Recycling of scrap metals, automobiles, appliances and machinery
  • Use of chemical based fertilizers on land
  • Use of Agro Chemicals on land
  • Storage of significant volumes of fertilizers or other agricultural chemicals
  • Storage of significant volumes of household, industrial or other domestic chemicals
  • Use of pesticides or other household chemicals on land
  • Cemeteries or Crematoria
  • Landfills
  • Sewage treatment via suck wells
  • Sewage treatment via suck wells
  • Location of potential threat activities in the vicinity of “sensitive areas”




  • Potential threat activities in the vicinity of “sensitive areas”.




For lands that will no longer be required to comply with the restrictions of former Groundwater Protection Areas 1-5, the priority for any change in land use will be food and agriculture, natural restoration/reforestation or the provision of affordable housing, providing these uses are in compliance with the new Zone provisions.  So, if you haven’t yet bought land to build your dream home, be sure you research your favoured locations and understand what you can and cannot build!


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