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Achieving Water Sustainability in the Cayman Islands through ESG Principles

water sustainability

Located in the western Caribbean Sea, the Cayman Islands face unique challenges in sustainably managing their limited freshwater resources. Along with The Cayman Islands Water Authority, we have outlined strategies to improve water sustainability on the islands using an environmental, social, and governance (ESG) framework.


The Geography and Climate of the Water-Scarce Islands


The Cayman Islands have no natural rivers, lakes, or substantial aquifers. Residents rely on rainwater harvesting and energy-intensive desalination plants for their water supply. However, the islands' geology and porous limestone make groundwater vulnerable to saline intrusion. Meanwhile, climate change threatens to disrupt historic rainfall patterns. Developing resilience against environmental factors is crucial.


Adopting a Holistic ESG Approach


We stress the importance of balancing environmental, social, and governance factors for sustainable water management:




Protecting groundwater resources through monitoring, modelling salinity, and designating conservation zones. Maintaining ecosystems by monitoring runoff quality and impacts on wildlife habitats.




Ensuring all residents have affordable access to clean water through pricing initiatives and financial assistance programmes. Educating the public on water conservation through schools and community engagement.




Improving infrastructure resilience by diversifying water sources and upgrading systems, as the UK has done by increasing desalination capacity by 40% from 2010 to 2020 and instituting policies for transparency, equitable distribution, and emergency planning.


Specific Strategies to Improve Water Sustainability


Here are the specific strategies aligned with ESG principles:


●      Upgrade rainwater catchment systems to increase storage capacity to the level recommended in the UK of 2,500 litres per household.


●      Expand usage of greywater and recycled water to reduce demand on potable supplies, as recycled water provides 9% of water consumption in London.


●      Employ more energy-efficient reverse osmosis technology, which has reduced UK desalination plant power usage by around 22% in recent years.


●      Form public-private partnerships to fund and operate infrastructure efficiently, as is done for 17% of the UK's water infrastructure.


●      Comprehensively monitor groundwater quality to detect salinity changes and inform extraction policies.


By incorporating ESG factors into long-term planning, the Cayman Islands can proactively address water sustainability despite geographic and environmental constraints. Check out our white paper, which provides a valuable roadmap for policymakers to ensure access to adequate fresh water for generations to come.



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