Water is said to be the most valuable asset on earth and every year the world observes Water Day. The day is set aside as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater sources. Belize has been celebrating world water day since 1995 and today Principal Hydrologist at the National Hydrological Service of Belize Tenielle Hendy spoke about the importance of water sustainability.
Tennielle Hendy, Principal Hydrologist, National Hydrological Service: ” Tying into the theme for World Water Day. The theme this year is “Valuing water” and so the work that the National Hydrological Service has been doing has been extensively due to culminating up to this point of valuing water because you know we take water for granted. Most of us we have a lot of water, we have a small percentage of population and so water shortage is not something that we’re used to. So the work that hydrology does is that you see our technicians out on the bridges, we have a couple stations in Belize City and they might look like cameras on bridges, sometimes I think people mistake them for cameras but those are actually radar sensors that is measuring the water level. And so what that information does is that it helps us with flood forecasting. Last year when we had Hurricane Eta and Iota passing over we had many flood events with a large percentage of our population being impacted by those events and so the work that we do with monitoring the water level data, with doing stream floor measurements – that’s just seeing how fast the water is flowing within a stream or river – it helps us with our flood forecasting and we are able to give out advisories to our stakeholders who are the public to be aware if there is a need for them to be vigilant or monitor their surroundings for any impending flood event. Apart from that that’s not the only work that hydrology does. We do a lot of work related to integrated water resources management and so what that is is that we collaborate and we coordinator with many different government agencies and civil society organization to help us with managing water because managing water is not a one agency task it is multi sectoral, it is multi stakeholder and this is where the private sector and civil society come in to help us to manage the water resources because we all use it so we all have a vested interest in managing this resource.”
Hendy noted that this year is the first time in decades that a full week of activities hasn’t been dedicated to advocating for water sustainability in Belize.