Grenada government tries again with RO desalination

The report on the Grenada government’s website on 21 May 2014 that it was building reverse-osmosis (RO) desalination plants on the islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique might not be quite as good as it sounds.

In 1998/99, according to a 2012 report by the UN Department of Economic & Social Affairs, the government purchased three RO desalination plants for these areas at a cost of about US$ 5 million. Poor plant siting, lack of distribution infrastructure, mechanical problems, limited storage capacity and lack of enthusiasm by residents to use the water for drinking all contributed to their demise.

The current projects are being funded by the CARICOM Climate Change Centre. Mark Bynoe, an environmental economist with the organization, is currently in Grenada overseeing the setting of the plants.

The project is being executed locally in partnership with the Grenada National Water and Sewerage Authority and the Grenada Electricity Services. According to Bynoe, both plants should be up and running by September.

Carriacou’s plant, which the UN report suggested would have a capacity of around 400 m³/d, will be set up on the location of the former desalination plant in Seaview.

Currently, people in Petite Martinique and Carriacou harvest rainwater to meet their water needs.