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A Toolbox on Rainwater Harvesting in
the Caribbean

About the Toolbox

Many rural areas throughout the Caribbean are forced to live without a pipe borne supply of water. Some individuals have to walk miles to get a potable supply of water. Their only source of water is from rivers, standpipes or paying for the delivery of water by water trucks. Rainwater harvesting (RWH) can be a means of self-reliance for these communities, especially in the southern islands in the Caribbean where there are high rainfall levels. RWH is a cost-effective technique and represents a viable solution for water scarce communities to become self-sufficient in their water supply. RWH can be a useful tool for developing countries in advancing their attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) on water, sanitation and poverty alleviation.

The Global Water Partnership-Caribbean (GWP-C) has developed this Caribbean Rainwater Harvesting ToolBox to share information on RWH and to improve knowledge on conducting RWH under safe and sanitary conditions. The Toolbox is a compilation of research materials on RWH in the Caribbean and best practices applicable to the region.

The Toolbox includes several outputs produced under the initiative "Regional Programme for the Promotion of Rainwater Harvesting in the Caribbean" undertaken by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute (CEHI) which has since been subsumed under the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), which sought to promote RWH in islands of the Caribbean. The first version of this ToolBox was launched in 2011 and was developed then by CEHI on behalf of GWP-C. The ToolBox also includes RWH resources developed by GWP-C.

In addition to the Toolbox, a RWH demonstration model was developed for display within the Caribbean, as an advocacy and education tool to promote safe RWH. This first model launched in 2010 was used at exhibitions and other fora in the Caribbean to give live demonstrations of how RWH can be done by households, schools and others in the community. An updated version of this model was produced by GWP-C in 2014 with technical support from its Partner, the Water Resources Authority (WRA) of Jamaica, as well as the support of its Partner, the National Institute of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology. This RWH model is displayed at the NIHERST National Science Centre in Trinidad.

About Global Water Partnership-Caribbean.

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The vision of the Global Water Partnership-Caribbean (GWP-C) is a water secure Caribbean. Its mission is to support Caribbean countries in the sustainable development and management of their water resources at the community, national and regional levels.


GWP-C was established in 2004 as 1 of 13 Regional Water Partnerships of the Global Water Partnership (GWP); a network of over 3,000 partner organisations in over 180 countries, all working to promote and foster Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).


IWRM is a process which promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources in order to maximise economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems and the environment.”


GWP-C works with its Partners to promote and strengthen interaction and coordination

at all levels and across different sectors to sustain IWRM in the Caribbean. GWP-C currently has more than 120 Partners from the following countries:


Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cuba, Curaçao, The Commonwealth of Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Guadeloupe Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, The United States Virgin Islands, The United States of America and Canada.


GWP-C’s key areas of work include:


Mobilisation of Multi-Stakeholder Groups – GWP-C mobilises stakeholders from different backgrounds, organisations and sectors to work toward better water resources management in the Caribbean. We create a neutral space for multi-stakeholder groups to come together to build common ground and engage in robust water management decisions. We also help countries develop IWRM plans and policies.

Advocacy – GWP-C engages in and develops activities aimed at building awareness on water in the Caribbean. This includes working to make water a top policy priority in the Caribbean.


Capacity Building – GWP-C provides training and technical expertise in a range of water-related areas, as well as supporting water-related dialogues on participatory approaches.


Communicating Knowledge – to build capacity, knowledge is required. GWP-C produces various knowledge products on various water-related issues and themes.

Building Partnerships – establishing cohesive alliances to support better water management in the Caribbean region at the community, national, regional and global level.


The key objectives of GWP-C are:

  • To promote IWRM as the approach to water resources management in the region and to obtain national commitment towards IWRM implementation.

  • To establish proactive alliances in water resource management that are representative, gender sensitive and participatory at the community, national, regional and international levels.

  • To align the Caribbean region with hemispheric and other global water initiatives in order to capitalise on international experiences and opportunities for regional capacity building in IWRM.

  • To improve water governance through the promotion, enhancement and effective implementation of legislation, policy, programmes and institutional regulatory and administrative frameworks.

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