I remember visiting the Washington House in Barbados this past summer on a Virginia Geographic Alliance travel grant and being marveled at the dripping stones on the residence. The use of the limestone vessels as filters was introduced by the Spanish. In the period when drip stones were in regular use, no supply of chlorinated water was available. Centuries later, Barbados is still plagued by water concerns. As one of the Caribbean’s most popular destinations was struck at the height of tourism season. A sewage leak, which the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) called a “crisis” was sweeping across the parts of the island’s popular south coast.

Water is life! I recall reading the newspaper headlines during my weeklong visit of the health alerts. I connected the moment to my very own. Just before departing for my travels, I endured a water main break in my home and made me realize how I often take for granted water. Freshwater is necessary for the surviving of all living organism on Earth. More specifically, how at this particular juncture, the solution for improvements of water quality in Barbados ( and many other countries) is still prevalent.

– Lisa Coates (PhD and Teacher Leader)