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Using natural strategies to protect local groundwater supplies & economic prosperity

Caribbean

To support local sustainability and economic prosperity, a resort developer undertook a study to ensure property development maintained groundwater supplies and use natural solutions to protect groundwater in the case of severe storms.

Topics Covered

Coastal & Tidal Flooding
Water Quality

Cost

Initial: Zero Upfront Cost

Funding

Grants

Project Status

Operational since 2014

Problem Addressed

Carbonate islands, like those in the Caribbean, are undergoing unprecedented demands on their limited water resources as island populations grow and resort development continues to increase.

On these islands, water resources, accessibility, and quality are controlled by the features of their carbonate aquifers - self-contained freshwater systems that differ temporally and spatially due to rapidly changing climatic conditions and geologic setting.

Because the freshwater on these islands floats on seawater, the resource can be easily impacted and polluted due to heavily developed resort complexes or severe storms. However, these islands depend on adequate supplies of good quality water to support the tourism industry, which drives the local economy.

Solutions Used

To ensure sustainable development of a resort that protected local groundwater supplies, the consulting team from CHANGE conducted a resilient development design.

This study consisted of an aquifer characterization of groundwater resources as critical to managing groundwater resources and designed protocols for mangrove and eel grass protection for protections during storms. To understand the bedrock and design a program that would protect groundwater resources and island assets in the case of a severe storm. To do so, the team characterized the bedrock via deep boreholes.

Outcomes

1

Living shoreline and eelgrass and mangrove seedlings plantings by diver tourists was a success.

Something Unique

Most divers are conservationists! Supported by the resort developers, the local dive shop ran trips to the shallow water areas to plant mangrove cuttings.

Who Should Consider

Any coastal community that needs to maintain safe drinking water!

Last Updated

Jul 16th, 2020
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