Water plays a tremendous role in everything we do. Water cannot be substituted, nor is it replaceable. It is a scarce resource needed in everyday life. On March 22, 2014 the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in collaboration with Government of Jamaica through the Ministry of Water Land Environment and Climate Change collectively brought stakeholder attention to the water-energy nexus. The event was the official launch of World Water Day 2014 and was aimed at exploring the close interlink and interdependence of water and energy.
The IDB recognizes the importance of sustainable water use and energy efficiency in every economy. The World Water Development Report estimates that approximately 75% of all industrial water withdrawals are used for energy production. The Bank’s active portfolio in Jamaica has over US$133 million geared towards improving the quality of water services provided to the Kingston Metropolitan area (KMA) and selected urban areas and to increase the efficiency and sustainability of the National Water Commission (NWC).
In the entire Caribbean electricity prices are some of the most expensive in the world with Jamaicans paying almost four times more for a kilowatt hour of electricity than persons in the United States. Recognizing the impact high and rising electricity costs have on the country’s finances and competitiveness, the IDB allocated US$20 million to improve energy efficiency within the public sector aimed at providing substantial savings to the Government of Jamaica.