CReW started a journey…which we must now complete

Posted by Sean Chedda at Jun 05, 2017 05:32 PM |

The Global Environment Facility funded Caribbean Regional Fund for Wastewater Management (GEF CReW) Project became my friend in 2011. It helped me to identify the challenges of wastewater management in the Wider Caribbean and worked with 13 countries to chart a better course in wastewater management.

By helping countries find innovative solutions for financing my management, CReW gave me new hope in being better treated, reused, purified and recycled before moving on to be useful again. I became a recognised member of the CReW family.

I wasn’t stigmatised, instead I was glorified for my potential. Ministers discussed why I was important, engineers discussed how better I could be treated using simpler technologies, and the media recognized my potential.

More importantly, CReW helped raise your awareness on the issues regarding wastewater and sanitation in the Caribbean. People started talking about me and understanding how I could influence the quality of their lives for the better.

Finally, the attention I deserve!

A new image for Wastewater

Beauty is on the inside, or so I’ve heard. My look, my smell, even my name...wastewater-uughhh…it drives people away, but I can change with your help!  Treat me well and I could dazzle you with my benefits! After all, I am 99% water and the rest of me is nutrient rich. Maybe if I changed my name…Ah, someone once called me “New Water” and even “One Water”…I believe it was the GEF CReW.

Realising my potential to return over and over again and be useful and life giving….if treated right…I think these names are quite appropriate, don’t you?

Embracing my new purpose, reclaiming my destiny

Mankind has found many uses for me particularly in my partially and fully treated forms. Now I contribute to economies by providing energy, water and fertiliser; an excellent source of nutrients and water for food production. People have found ways of producing biogas for generating energy from me. In some parts of the world, as greywater I am used to irrigate trees and small farms for subsistence farmers; others use me to wash their vehicles!

All the same, I shudder at the gallons of me that get treated but never reused especially when there is such a shortage of water in so many places. Just imagine if I were to be fully and properly treated, I could be reused as a safe source of drinking water! Mother Nature would be so proud! Oh how good that would be but…would you use me or drink me or would you still fear me?

I should no longer be seen as an outcast. There are people with great plans for me. So learn about me, learn about what my GEF CReW family has done, and help to change my image - maybe even change my name... 

But until then…I am still Wastewater, 99% of me is Water. I am found in every corner of the Earth. I am a Resource! Treat me well, and find me a new purpose in YOUR life!

By Chrishane Williams
Communications Consultant
GEF CReW Project & UN Environment CEP