Editorial for March 23: Keep safe water on your brain

World Water Day came and went Tuesday without a lot of fanfare.

Those who deal with water and the appliances that get it to us did their part to let the country know about the special day, and the Caymanian Compass as well as sister publication The Observer on Sunday carried articles about the day, but we didn’t hear much from the general population.

It seems the day was taken for granted, much as we treat water in general.

Face it; we’re spoiled.

When we turn a faucet or a spigot we expect water to automatically appear.

What we don’t realise or even appreciate is the work that goes in to getting water to our homes and businesses.

For hundreds of years our forefathers dug wells or caught rain water to drink, wash and nurture gardens. During dry spells it was tough luck for those who hadn’t hoarded enough water to sustain their families.
Fast track to the 1980s when enlightened folk on Grand Cayman came up with a way to effectively turn salt or brackish water into fresh drinking water.

Today the efforts of Consolidated Water employees of days gone by to desalinate water are being used throughout the Cayman Islands and areas throughout the world.

The process they’ve developed is unique. Desalination plants are put in place and the governments or agencies that buy them are allowed to pay off over time and eventually own the plants.
It’s a win-win situation for all – especially those who are the recipients of fresh water.

Water is necessary for just about everything we do in life. It is, essentially, necessary for our basic existence. Unsafe water and lack of sanitation are major factors underlying many of the 10 million child deaths every year.

We in the Cayman Islands are fortunate that today we have the Water Authority and Consolidated Water, as well as other commercial water suppliers. While Tuesday was dedicated to thinking about water, it is something that should be uppermost – and conserved – every day.


  1. Before you get indignant about the lack of response to your stories on world water day, you might consider that your stories were very limited in scope not really going beyond the familiar story: reverse osmosis water, clean, high cost, comes out of the tap. Not too enlightening or thought-provoking. World Water Day is to broaden the perspective beyond the tap: look at the whole cycle. The articles never mentioned waste water treatment (or the lack of it and impacts of), the lack of recycling this expensive resource for irrigation, etc. (Israel relies on reverse osmosis, but their reuse rate is more than 70%), the destruction of wetlands that provide valuable natural water cleansing, etc etc.