Mon | Sep 23, 2019

WRA, Met Service brace for climate change

Published:Friday | July 19, 2019 | 12:29 AM
Charles Jr

The Water Resources Authority (WRA) and the Meteorological Service Jamaica, (Met Service) on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding to facilitate the sharing of hydro-meteorological data and information that will allow both entities to plan for the impact of climate change.

The project, which is funded through the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR), will allow both entities to receive real-time streamflow and rainfall data.

Speaking at the signing, at the offices of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Minister without Portfolio, Senator Pearnel Charles Jr said that the new data-gathering platform would help to minimise the effect that would inevitably come with climate change.

“One of the important steps is for us to improve our capacity to collect and collate climate data as well as for us to improve information management and early warning capabilities. It is for us to advance this effort to build our resilience as a country in a joined-up way. This partnership to facilitate the sharing of data and information will certainly allow both entities to plan for the impacts of climate change”, he said.

PROACTIVE MOVE

Charles said that the Government is “moving towards utilising better, more proactive mechanisms that are going to allow for us to foresee what we know is bound to come and to put the country in a position to protect itself and maximise its ability to gain benefit over any damage”.

Under the MOU, both parties will, among other things: Share hydro-meteorological data from rainfall, intensity and streamflow stations across the island; support each other through the exchange of data, information and technical expertise, to include capacity building; seek to establish, where necessary, relevant committees and/or working groups to facilitate speedy data access/transfer.

Managing Director of the WRA Peter Clarke said that the platform “will establish better security of life and property. It will also assist the WRA in refining floodplain maps; in conducting feasibility for Flood Early Warning Systems; and prepare flood inundation reports whenever flooding is reported across the island”.