The Caribbean Water Initiative (CARIWIN)



Purpose of CARIWIN

Water resource management is central to sustainable growth and poverty reduction. The hydrologic extremes of drought and floods, coupled with pollution, affect Caribbean prosperity. At the local, national and regional levels in the Caribbean, water availability and variability contribute significantly to the risks people face every day in caring for their families and ensuring their livelihoods.

Poverty reduction and sustainable human development entail the active and direct involvement of all sections of society in planning, decision-making, and environmental monitoring.

To address the complex challenges of water management in the Caribbean region, CARIWIN’s goal is to increase the capacity of Caribbean countries to deliver sustainable and equitable integrated water resources management (IWRM). The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defines IWRM as “a process that promotes the co-ordinated development and management of water, land and related resources, in order to maximize the resultant economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems”.

IWRM means managing water for:
- drinking
- agriculture (subsistence and commercial)
- industry
- sanitation
- ecological integrity


Competition for natural resources, including water, by impoverished communities leads to conflict between resource users, economic decline in the communities if the resource diminishes in both quantity and quality, and degradation of the natural environment. IWRM is therefore rooted in the principles of inclusivity, including gender equality; participatory decision making within local communities; resource sharing and allocation; economic security and well being; and environmental sustainability. If countries are to develop water policies that are inclusive of all social and economic sectors within a country, it is necessary to ascertain the water needs of women and men, as related to domestic and economic drivers, the amount of water required to sustain environmental flows and the measures required to protect water quality, as well as the economic returns generated from water based activities. All of these factors should be considered within the local governance context of each country, and integrated within a Community Water Strategy.

CARIWIN will help build the capacity of CARICOM countries to undertake integrated water resource management at the regional, national and community levels. Capacity building initiatives will be developed at CIMH, tested and delivered in three countries – Grenada, Guyana and Jamaica.

Outcome #1: Emergence of CIMH as a strengthened regional training institution and centre of excellence in equitable and sustainable IWRM.

Outcome #2: CIMH national outreach program provides water specialists and decision-makers with tools for developing IWRM policies in three DC’s (Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica).

Outcome #3: Partnerships between CIMH, national agencies, local government and community water-users associations to develop three Community Water Strategies (CWS) based on IWRM principles, formed in three countries.

Main partners and countries

CARIWIN is a joint project between the Brace Centre for Water Resources Management and the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH). These two main institutions are collaborating closely with government agencies from three partner countries - Grenada, Guyana, and Jamaica to help achieve the overarching goals of poverty reduction and gender equality through a process of institutional capacity building in integrated water resources management.

The lead agencies associated with the project are the Ministry for Agriculture (Grenada), the Hydrometerological service (Guyana), and the Water Resources Authority (WRA) of Jamaica. Other regional and international organizations associated with CARIWIN are listed below.

Caribbean Organizations

  • University of West Indies (Center for Gender Studies) - UWI
  • Organization of Eastern Caribbean States - OECS
  • Caribbean Environmental and Health Institute - CEHI
  • The Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action – CAFRA

International Organizations

  • Food and Agriculture Organization - FAO
  • Global Water Partnership - GWP
  • Gender and Water Alliance - GWA
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