Caribbean Faces Water Shortages from Climate Change

Dry spells coupled with intense rainfall could also leave reservoir supplies low

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Dieu Nalio Chery / AP

Vendors wait for fishermen to return on the shores of Lake Azuei in Thomazeau, Haiti.

Climate change could cause serious shortages of clean water in the Caribbean, experts warn. Speaking at a conference in St. Lucia this week, scientists and officials cautioned that fresh water sources could be tainted by rising sea levels. Dry spells caused by changing climate patterns could also leave reservoir levels low, they said.

The effects of climate change on underground water, a vital yet vulnerable water source for many Caribbean nations, is the “greatest concern,” says Jason Johnson, vice-president of the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association in Trinidad.¬†“Those weather patterns may change, and there may not necessarily be the means for those water supplies to be replenished at the pace that they have historically been replenished,” he said.