Barbados is located at 13°10' north of the equator, and 59°32' west of the Prime Meridian. As the easternmost isle of the Lesser Antilles in the West Indies, Barbados lies 100 kilometres east of the Windward Islands and Caribbean Sea.
Barbados’ physical characteristics are its lowlands or gently sloping, terraced plains, separated by rolling hills that generally parallel the coasts. Elevations in the interior range from 180 to 240 metres above sea level. Mount Hillaby is the highest point at 340 metres above sea level. Farther south, at Christ Church Ridge, elevations range from 60 to 90 metres. 85% of the island's surface consists of coralline limestone 24 to 30 metres thick. Scotland District, however, contains outcroppings of oceanic formations at the surface.
Barbados lies within the tropics. Its maritime climate is influenced by northeast trade winds, which moderate the tropical temperature. Cool, northeasterly trade winds are prevalent during the December to June dry season. The overall annual temperature ranges from 24 to 28 °C. Slightly lower temperatures prevail at higher elevations. Humidity levels are between 71 % and 76 % year round. Rainfall occurs primarily between July and December and varies considerably with elevation. Rainfall may average 1,875 millimeters per year in the higher central area as compared with 1,275 millimeters in the coastal zone.
The capital is Bridgetown and the total population of Barbados is 286,000 (2014, World Bank). The economy is dominated by tourism.
For more information see: http://www.gov.bb/
Current Issues and Challenges in Wastewater Management
(Source: “Regional Sectoral Overview of Wastewater Management in the Wider Caribbean Region. Situational Analysis” prepared by UNEP-CEP/RCU in 2010.)
- Challenges within the wastewater management sector include inadequate treatment of domestic wastewater; inadequate financing for maintenance of wastewater treatment systems, in concert with high costs of installation of wastewater systems due to the spatial distribution of development; and limited human capacity (numbers and technical skills) for monitoring and maintenance (UNEP-CEP, 2009).
- Like most other countries, pit latrines were utilised in Barbados for centuries as the appropriate means for the final disposal of human faeces, gray (kitchen and bath) water and storm water. A national zoning policy for the protection of the island's ground water reserves and the control of domestic and industrial wastewater was instituted in 1963 and is still being used today. Based on this policy, sewage disposal in Barbados varies depending on locality, type of structure and in which water protection zone the premises are situated. The Marine Pollution Control Act was proclaimed in 2000 and this legal instrument requires all discharges to comply with new discharge limits as outlined on the draft Marine Pollution Control (Discharge) Regulations.
- Inadequate treatment of domestic, commercial and industrial wastewater is having adverse negative impacts on the quality of marine water. This includes increase turbidity, turf algae on coral species, reduction in diversity of coral reef systems and rare breaches in recreational marine water standards (CEP, 1998).
- Barbados has developed its National Strategic Plan 2005-2025. This includes national development objectives to maintain access to quality education, health care and sanitation (UNDP, 2007). Wastewater management is captured under goal 4 of the Plan which speaks to the preservation of the environment.
- The Barbados Sustainable Development Policy, developed in 2002, also speaks to the improvement of wastewater treatment and improvement of the environmental quality and the quality of life for all Barbadians. The policy is implemented through the Barbados Sustainable Development Action Plan.