Nature Foundation Calls for Better Management of Nation’s Freshwater Wells. Some Wells Contaminated with Sewage

Cole Bay- The Sint Maarten Nature Foundation is calling for the better management of the Nation’s Freshwater wells. The statement comes during a time when the island is experiencing on ongoing drought and many water delivery businesses are using wells to supply water to homes that rely on cisterns for their water supply. “Daily we have been noticing that many water trucks from water-delivery companies have been using wells to pump up fresh water to deliver to their customers. Especially now during this dry period some wells have trucks lining up to pump out fresh water to deliver to homes that have had their cisterns run dry. Considering the important role these sources of freshwater play they should be managed so that they are able to provide freshwater in terms of drought,” commented Nature Foundation Manager Tadzio Bervoets.

The Nature Foundation also tested water samples from the wells in order to determine water quality. “We thought it very important to test the water quality at the wells so that the population knows how clean their sources of freshwater are. Unfortunately the well on Narrow Road in Cole Bay for example has tested positive for Coliform, which is an indicator for contamination with sewage. So we have suggested to Government that a management plan including water quality testing be implemented so that proper quality water is being distributed to the community,” continued Bervoets.

Sources of freshwater will become increasingly critical for Sint Maarten as a Small Island Developing State tackling the effects of Climate Change. Dry periods with little rain are expected to become more frequent and last longer, putting significant stress on the island’s freshwater supply. After major hurricane events the community also depends heavily on wells to provide freshwater when the water supply is down. “The availability of safe water both in terms of being resilient in the face of climate change and being resilient in terms of disaster recovery is critical. It is therefore very important that the wells are managed to ensure their sustainability moving forward,” concluded Bervoets.

A report has been sent to stakeholders both in the Public and Private Sector related to local wells by the Nature Foundation.