October 23-24, 2016
The Third Preconference Workshop was held at Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association’s Annual Conference in Trinidad on October 23-24, 2016 under the theme, “Building Resilient Water Systems for the 21st Century”.
Over 45 articipants from Caribbean and USA water utilities, NGOs, Academia, multi-lateral financial institutions, regional and international organizations attended the event, hosted by CWWA, CAWASA, GWOPA, US Water Partnerships, and IDB Regional Policy Dialogue.
The main four major topics of the workshop were: Demand Management; Water Re-Use and Re-Charge; Innovative Finance for Resiliency; and Innovative Data Management.
Discussions on specific issues included, Non-Revenue Water as a way to improvedefficiency and source of revenue to fund maintenance of current services; Asset Management; Human Resources; Data Sharing – collection, harmonization, and sharing of data; Implementation of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) policies; Metering linked with data management – technical issue as well as institutional.
The U.S. Water Partnerships, one of the key partners who facilitated the workshop, pledged that it will assist Cari-WOP with preparing a guidance document for follow-up actions arising from the workshop. Among the potential areas for strategic action include:
- Priorities – Identify three to five priority issues for Caribbean utilities to leverage existing collaboration modalities (i.e. CARICOM, CIMH, CWWA, CAWASA, UWI) and elevate the priority of water and improve decision making for asset management, human resources, non-revenue water, data sharing and water demand management.
- Practices – Develop a Caribbean community of practice and information sharing platform through H2infO to highlight Caribbean experiences, priorities and successes.
- Partnerships – Establish multi-utility water operator partnerships across the region, and with the U.S. through the Cari-WOP platform, along with a dedicated “fund” to ensure sustainable engagement among utilities.
- Working Committees – Establish, through CAWASA, CWWA thematic working committees to build consensus on collective action and improvements.
- Performance – Coordinate a Caribbean study tour and/or reverse trade mission of the U.S. through the U.S. Water Partnership with possible U.S. government engagement to support training opportunities and performance improvement plans.
Participants expressed enthusiasm and support for the ambition to move to the next level of integrated water prediction tools and services, and are eager for active participation in whatever next steps stakeholders will pursue.