From 26 to 28 June 2019, the 6th Water Operators Conference will be held in Saint Lucia in collaboration with host utility, the Water and Sewerage Company (WASCO).
The conference is designed as a platform for water operators and partners to discuss real issues and share innovations to contemporary challenges. It is the only conference of its kind that targets water and sewerage operators in the Caribbean Region.
The theme for this year’s conference is Teaming with Water Operators: Building Climate Resilient Water Utilities. This is in partial fulfillment of CAWASA’s contribution to the implementation of the fifth component of the Regional Strategic Action Plan (RSAP) for Governance and Climate Resilience in the Water Sector in the Caribbean.
See the programme for more information: http://cawasa.org/cawasa/event/6th-caribbean-water-operators-conference-exhibition-2019/
A unique feature of the conference is the Water Operators’ Competition organized for the Operators to test their competence in areas directly related to their functions. This year, the operators will also visit some of WASCO's facilities and on-going projects to study how water utilities projects are being implemented.
The effects of climate change are being felt by all water utilities across the Caribbean region, manifesting in insufficient water supply due to frequent extreme weather events such as droughts, hurricanes, flash flooding and resultant damage to infrastructure. Climate change exacerbates previous challenges that water utilities were already experiencing such as water shed degradation, insufficient investments, weak supporting legislation, inadequate tariff regimes, poor information management, high levels of non-revenue water and weak integrated water resource management systems.
As climate change bears down on the Caribbean region, the situation is turning dangerous for public health and economic growth. Rapid learning and adoption of new resiliency and source water protection measures are essential.
Building resilience of utilities is more than investing in infrastructure. It also requires investing in the people in the utilities who are ultimately responsible for the efficient operations and maintenance of these assets. Training of the operators is a fundamental element in improving water utilities.
The conference allows operators to showcase best practices and experiences at their respective utilities through technical presentations and provides an excellent opportunity to introduce the Action Plan to the operators and to receive their feedback on the implementation strategies from an operational perspective.