World Water Day is an annual United Nations Observance focusing on the importance of fresh water with the goal to raise awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. The first-ever World Water Day was in 1993 and since then, we see evidence of climate change making the availability of water more erratic, further exasperating the scarcity of safe fresh water.
Climate change affecting our water supply
As the world gets warmer, our air gets warmer and holds more moisture. The result is that more water from the ocean, lakes, soil, and plants will be sucked up by warmer air. This causes droughts in some areas where fresh water availability is already an issue. On the flip side, when this "wetter" warm air cools down, it causes heavier precipitation, causing floods in other areas. As the water in these floods move to a lower area, it picks up dirt, garbage and pollutants along the way. These pollutants and other undesirables then end up in waterways that serve as the freshwater supply for a population.
The theme for this year is “Valuing Water.” In Aruba, we are dependent on the ocean for our water and are happy to say our pure and refreshing drinking water meets the highest standards of quality of the World Health Organization. Since Aruba does not have any significant natural sources of fresh water, the water is distilled in a saltwater desalination plant. The plant is referred to as W.E.B., which is an acronym for the Dutch Water- en Energiebedrijf. We deeply value our drinking water and even more so as it is made through an energy-intensive process called desalinization.
At Bucuti & Tara, we do our utmost to prevent wasting water and reducing water consumption. this is done by using water-efficient equipment and motion-activated fixtures in public areas. We also catch rainwater for irrigation purposes and even reuse sanitized greywater for irrigation. We have even designed our landscaping in such a way to reduce the need for this precious resource by only planting native or adaptive species already accustomed to this environment, therefore require less water and maintenance.
Being surrounded by the beautiful Caribbean Sea not only provides us access to water, it is also home to many marine species and important ecosystems. There are some beautiful areas around the island where you can see the famous parrotfish, which are partially responsible for the white sandy beaches we all love, large brain corral and the lush, beautiful mangroves. Our appreciation for water runs deep, as it is the essence of life.
Photo credit: Dr. Christine Biondi @crbiondi08