Water Resources Management Agency St. Lucia
The Government of Australia has extended to the Government of Saint Lucia an accountable cash grant for assistance towards a flood early warning system and hydrological monitoring for water management and disaster risk reduction. The project is being executed through the Saint Lucia Water Resource Management Agency (WRMA).

The overall purpose of the project is
  • to enhance WRMA’s ability to monitor and manage Saint Lucia’s water resources through hydrometric monitoring of
         the water balance, and
  • to install and operate flood early warning systems in the communities Anse La Raye, Canaries and Castries.

  • From the 1960’s, the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry and Fisheries Saint Lucia has been monitoring rainfall and stream flows in some of the watersheds across the island. Main income generated in Saint Lucia at this time was through agriculture, and hence the hydrometric data obtained was used primarily to assist in developing irrigation for agriculture. Since then, the focus of hydrometric data collection has changed and non-agriculture related data users have increased in numbers.

    As a consequence of climate change, heavy rainfall events especially those in conjunction with tropical storms occur with higher frequency and larger magnitude causing more severe damage to Saint Lucia’s communities than in the past. To reduce Saint Lucia’s vulnerability to the impact of heavy storm events, flood early warning systems (FEWS) will be installed in the most vulnerable communities. The existing hydrometric infrastructure will be used to monitor storm events and to operate the FEWS.

    Our regional and technical partner, Sven Homscheid Hydropower + RE Consulting, was engaged by the Government of Saint Lucia to review the country’s hydrometric network, design and specify the Flood Early Warning Systems and assist in its procurement and installation, and to establish a hydrologic model for Saint Lucia. geoMinds supported the project with a broad range of it-services and training staff in using GIS technologies, setting up hydrologic models, and field training in obtaining and analyzing hydrometric data. An automated and geostatistical hazard risk analysis method suitable for the island was developed and applied to assess populated areas with a high risk exposure to flood waves. Based on the results of the analysis, the top three communities of the island were selected and further planning for installing technical equipment setting up the flood early warning systems has begun in June 2014.

    Example Map of the Castries River: The Hazard Risk Index (HRI) is the product of population in a flood plain that is inundated at a considered flood event, and the risk exposure of these people expressed as the speed with which the water level increases in the flood plain. Both parameters were estimated based on simple input data, such as population density from census data, satellite images, and valley cross sections estimated from a simple measuring-tape measurement of the riverbed, and distances taken from the contour map. For further technical background explanation on the HRI calculation contact us.

    › WRMA St. Lucia › Sven Homscheid
      Hydropower and RE
    › CREDP-GIZ › Deutsche
      Welthungerhilfe e.V.
    › Government of St. Lucia