Caribbean grapples with intense new cycles of flooding & drought

Go Lean Commentary

CU Blog - Caribbean grapples with new intense cycles of flooding and drought - Photo 2As of this moment, there is a tropical storm system that originated off the coast of Africa, building up in the Atlantic Ocean; it may or may not be a threat to the Caribbean. See photo to the right, and/or news feed video here: WFTV Eye on the Tropics.

This is the reality of Caribbean life – we have to contend with disasters, not of our making.

Climate Change is also not of our making, and yet we must contend with it as well. It is what it is!

In the past, our region has not done well managing “agents-of-change”. But we do not have the luxury of “sticking our head in the sand” and pretending that these problems will simply go away. The region has been devastated with this dysfunction and mis-management. Some 70% of Caribbean college-educated citizens have already fled their homelands in an undisputed brain drain. It’s time now to manage change differently than the Caribbean has done as of late. It’s time now to “Go Lean”.

The foregoing news article presents the story that there are new cycles of flooding and drought in the Caribbean. This too, is Climate Change 101. If only, there could be some equalizing between “the feast and the famine” with water. Yes there is. Caribbean stakeholders can proactively consider the benefits of one possible solution: Pipelines.

Since water is only free in our society when it is raining, there are costs associated at all other times, like storage and distribution; so the economic principles of pipelines are sound.

According to the book Go Lean … Caribbean, pipelines can be strategic, tactical and operationally efficient. They can mitigate challenges of Mother Nature, create jobs, secure the homeland and grow the economy at the same time.

The Go Lean book identifies that there are “agents-of-change” that our world have to now contend with. Proactively managing the cause-and-effect of these agents can yield great benefits and alleviate much suffering. The agents-of-change for the Caribbean are identified as follows:

Aging Diaspora
Climate Change

The Go Lean book posits that we can manage all of these agents, but this last one, climate change is outside of our control and wreaking havoc on Caribbean life. Consider this news article here, that aligns this point:

By: Desmond Brown

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Monday July 21, 2014, IPS – As unpredictable weather patterns impact water availability and quality in St. Lucia, the Caribbean island is moving to build resilience to climate-related stresses in its water sector. Dr. Paulette Bynoe, a specialist in community-based disaster risk management, climate change adaptation policy and environmental management, says integrated water resource management is critical.CU Blog - Caribbean grapples with new intense cycles of flooding and drought - Photo

“We have been making progress…making professionals and other important stakeholders aware of the issue. That is the first step,” she told IPS.

“So in other sectors we can also look at coordination whether we talk about agriculture or tourism. It’s important that we think outside of the box and we stop having turfs and really work together,” she added.

Earlier this month, Bynoe facilitated a three-day workshop on Hydro-Climatic Disasters in Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) in St. Lucia. The workshop was held as part of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States-Reducing the Risks to Human and Natural Assets Resulting from Climate Change (OECS-RRACC) project.

Participants were exposed to the key principles of IWRM and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR); the implications of climate change and variability for water resources management; policy legislation and institutional requirements needed at the community level to facilitate DRR in IWRM; the economics of disasters; and emergency response issues.

Rupert Lay, a water resources specialist with the RRACC Project, said the training is consistent with the overall goals of the climate change demonstration project in GIS technology currently being implemented by the OECS Secretariat.

“What we need to do now in the region and even further afield is to directly correlate the effects, the financial impacts of these adverse weather conditions as it relates to water resources,” he told IPS.

“We need to make that link strongly so that all of us can appreciate the extent to which and the importance of building resilience and adapting to these stresses.”

On Jul. 9, the St. Lucia Water and Sewage Company (WASCO) placed the entire island under a water emergency schedule as the drought worsened. The government has described the current situation as a “water crisis”.

The crisis, initially declared for the north of the island, has expanded to the entire country.

Managing director of WASCO Vincent Hippolyte said that there had not been sufficient rainfall to meet the demands of consumers. At the most recent assessment, the dam’s water level was at 322 feet, while normal overflow levels are 333 feet.

“Despite the rains and the greenery, drought conditions exist because the rivers are not moving. They do not have the volume of water that will enable WASCO to extract sufficient water to meet demand,” he said.

“We are in the early stages in the drought situation. It is not as severe as the later stages, but we are still in drought conditions.”

The government said that experts predicted the drought would persist through the month of August.

Bynoe said what’s happening in St. Lucia and elsewhere in the Caribbean is consistent with the projections of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Climate Modeling Group from the University of the West Indies.

She said both bodies had given possible future scenarios of climate change as it relates to the SmallIslandDevelopingStates, and how climate change and climate variability could affect water resources.

“I think generally the issue is that in the region there is a high likelihood that we can have a shortage of water so we can experience droughts; and perhaps at the same time when we do have precipitation it can be very intense,” Bynoe, who is also Director of the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Guyana, said.

She noted that the models are saying there can either be too little water or too much water, either of which could create serious problems for the Caribbean.

“With too much water now you can have run off, sedimentation, water pollution and water contamination which means in countries where we depend on surface water the treatment of water become critical and this will then bring cost implications because water treatment is very costly,” Bynoe explained.

“But also, if you are going to treat water you have to use a lot of energy and energy is one of the sectors that contribute to greenhouse gasses. So you can see where the impact of climate change is affecting water but with water treatment you can also contribute to climate change.”

For St. Lucia and its neighbours, Bynoe said lack of financial resources tops the list of challenges when it comes to disaster mitigation and adapting new measures in reference to hydro-climatic disasters.

She also pointed to the importance of human capital, citing the need to have persons trained in specific areas as specialists to help with modeling, “because in preparation we first have to know what’s the issue, we have to know what’s the probability of occurrence, we have to know what are the specific paths that we can take which could bring the best benefits to us.”

She used her home country Guyana, which suffers from a high level of migration, as one example of how sustainable development could be negatively affected by capital flight.

“But you also need human capital because first of all governments must work together within the region and lessons learnt in one country can be translated to other countries so that we can replicate the good experiences so that we don’t fall prey to the same sort of issues,” Bynoe said.

“But also social capital within the country in which we try to ensure that all stakeholders are involved, a very democratic process because it’s not only about policymakers; every person, every household must play a role to the whole issue of adaptation, it starts with the man or woman in the mirror,” she added.

In October 2010, Hurricane Tomas passed very near St. Lucia killing 14 people and leaving millions of dollars in monetary losses. The island was one of three Eastern Caribbean countries on which a slow-moving, low-level trough on Dec 24, 2013 dumped hundreds of millimetres of rain, killing 13 people.
Caribbean360 Online Community  (Retrieved 07-21-2014) –

The book, Go Lean…Caribbean, purports that a new technology-enhanced industrial revolution is emerging, in which there is more efficiency gleaned from installing, monitoring and maintaining pipelines. Caribbean society must participate, not just consume the developments in this revolution. This point is pronounced early in the book with this Declaration of Interdependence (Page 11 &14), with the opening and subsequent statements:

i.        Whereas the earth’s climate has undeniably changed resulting in more severe tropical weather storms, it is necessary to prepare to insure the safety and security of life, property and systems of commerce in our geographical region. As nature recognizes no borders in the target of its destruction, we also must set aside border considerations in the preparation and response to these weather challenges.

xxvi.          Whereas the Caribbean region must have new jobs to empower the engines of the economy and create the income sources for prosperity, and encourage the next generation to forge their dreams right at home, the Federation must therefore foster the development of new industries, like that of … pipelines …

xxvii.     Whereas the region has endured a spectator status during the Industrial Revolution, we cannot stand on the sidelines of this new economy, the Information Revolution. Rather, the Federation must embrace all the tenets of Internet Communications Technology (ICT) to serve as an equalizing element in competition with the rest of the world. The Federation must bridge the digital divide and promote the community ethos that research/development is valuable and must be promoted and incentivized for adoption.

This Go Lean book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of a technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) to elevate society of the 30 Caribbean member-states. The foregoing news article draws reference to the efforts by the 9 member-states of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, all defined as Small Island Developing States. The CU effort on the other hand, is a confederation that includes coastal states like Guyana, Suriname and Belize. There are more territories and more water resources to leverage solutions for one member-state versus another.

In addition, the CU will assume jurisdiction for the Caribbean Sea, the 1,063,000 square-mile international waters under an UN-approved structure referred to as an Exclusive Economic Zone. This approach allows for cooperation and equalization, so as to mitigate the feast-and-famine water conditions in the region.

With this Go Lean roadmap, pipelines become viable under this administration. This becomes a real solution to a real problem! In fact the CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines.

The Go Lean book details the economic principles and community ethos to adopt, plus the executions of strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to forge solutions, like pipelines, in Caribbean communities. But this is not “your grandfather’s 1920 pipeline solution”, but rather a cutting-edge (circa 2020) solution featuring options like robotics and satellite-monitoring. Consider this list as follows:

Economic Principles – People Choose because Resources are   Limited Page 21
Economic Principles – All Choices Involve Costs Page 21
Economic Principles – People Respond to Incentives Page 21
Economic Principles – Economic Systems Influence   Individual Choices Page 21
Economic Principles – Consequences of Choices Lie in the   Future Page 21
Community Ethos – Job   Multiplier Page 22
Community Ethos – “Crap” Happens Page 23
Community Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Return on Investments (ROI) Page 24
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Help Entrepreneurship Page 28
Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Sharing Page 35
Community Ethos – Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Anecdote – Pipeline Transport – Strategies, Tactics &   Implementations Page 43
Strategy – Vision – Confederating 30 Member-states in a Union Page 45
Strategy – Agents of Change – Technology Page 57
Strategy – Agents of Change – Globalization Page 57
Strategy – Agents of Change – Climate Change Page 57
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – Growing Economy – New High Multiplier   Industries Page 68
Separation of Powers – Interstate Commerce Administration Page 79
Separation of Powers – Interior Department – Exclusive   Economic Zone Page 82
Implementation – Assemble – Pipeline as a Focused  Activity Page 96
Implementation – Benefits from the Exclusive Economic Zone Page 104
Implementation – Ways to Develop a Pipeline Industry Page 107
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Planning – 10 Big Ideas – Pipeline Projects Page 127
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage the Social Contract –   Infrastructure Page 170
Advocacy – Ways to Ways to Impact Public Works – Ideal for   Pipelines Page 175
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage Natural Resources – Water   Resources Page 183
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Extractions – Pipeline Strategy Alignment Page 195
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Emergency Management Page 196
Advocacy – Ways to Foster Technology Page 197
Advocacy – Ways to Ways to Improve Monopolies – Foster   Cooperatives Page 202
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Transportation – Pipeline   Options Page 205
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Rural Living – Minimize Irrigation     Downsides Page 235
Appendix – Pipeline Maintenance Robots Page 283

This commentary previously featured subjects related to counteracting the effects of Climate Change and natural disasters in the region: Water Conservation Industries – Blue is the New Green Floods in Minnesota, Drought in California – Why Not Share? Caribbean loses more than 70 percent of tertiary educated to brain drain Conservative heavyweights have “Green”/solar industry in their sights Go ‘Green’ … Caribbean Earthquakes & Hurricanes Shake Eastern Caribbean Region

This is a new day for the Caribbean! It’s time now for change in our response to (climate) change. The elevations that are identified, qualified and proposed in the book Go Lean…Caribbean are not just reactive, but also proactive. It’s time for the Caribbean to lean-in for these elevations.

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

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