The terrestrial consequences of poor wastewater management in Curaçao



Curaçao is a Small Island Development State in the Wider Caribbean Region. In the scope of sustainable development and the UN SDGs, these states are characterized by being extra vulnerable to environmental changes induced by climate change. One important way of adapting and mitigating is the sustainable management of natural resources such as water. Poor management of water and wastewater in particular is leading to social and environmental problems in Curaçao such as harming economical activities like fisheries and marine ecosystems. Nevertheless, social and environmental consequences of this poor management on land is hardly investigated. Therefore, this research was set up to explore the consequences on land through three approaches. First, by sorting out the current situation of wastewater monitoring in Curaçao on the managerial level by partaking in a government agency as a participant observer. Second, by exploring the occurrence of wastewater related diseases among the people of Curaçao. Third, by attempting to draw conclusions about ground water quality and its probable suitability for irrigation, by locating likely sources of wastewater pollution on the estimation of groundwater quality in Excel with secondary data of electrical conductivity. The findings include that wastewater management should be treated with more priority and that more efforts should be paid on consistency in responsibilities and storage of data. As to public health risks, the applied method did not find wastewater related diseases. Still, more thorough research on the matter is recommended. Lastly, overall groundwater quality in Curaçao is not directly suitable for irrigation. The water quality analysis with electrical conductivity provided a location to start further research where wastewater contamination might be occurring, but requires more methods to confirm whether this is actually applicable.

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