Talk:Geography of Barbados

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I was just wondering if anyone knew where I could find out about the portable water situation in Barbados?

  • What did you want to know about it?
NOTICE- This is my personal rendition and kinda long... Historically water in Barbados was provided from caves under the island. Barbados is made of Coral-limestone which was pushed up from the Ocean floor. Something like 200 Million years ago?? I believe I've seen ~ 263 Million years ago from www.Barbados.org Supposedly in that process, the 'bunching effect' which jutted the basic land upward also created/left hollow cavities within the island. (Said to be part of the history of Harrison's' Cave for example with it's water pools.) Since the coral (The same corals as what makes up the exterior walls of the Parliament of Barbados Buildings) is largely made of limestone these below sea level 'caves' naturally filled with water (As an aquifer), however the pours of the coral actually (naturally) filtered out the salt. So for a number of years Barbados' underground caves were the source of Barbados' water system. And actually the fountain in the middle of Bridgetown celebrated the introduction of piped water in Bridgetown.

This system has I guess worked well for a number of years, at first- the Government of Barbados sought to have "standpipes" extended into many of the neighborhoods around the island. Some of these were- short cement pylons/pillars(not sure how to describe.) I'd say they were about 3-4 feet high with a simple brass spigot "Stop-cock" as the Bajans call it coming out of it. They were very much a community meeting spot. (In agreement with the words used by the book Insight Guide Barbados. Discovery Channel and Insight Guides; 4th edition, Singapore. ISBN 0887290337 by Scott, Caroline) for the most part, Barbadians had to do their laundry, bathe, wash your feet, hands, dishes, etc. around the standpipe.

And ohh boy you definitely had different kinds of soap to do everything. One soap for body, one for clothes ("Blue") as it was called. One for doing dishes. etc.

From what I recall I think they were fed by lead pipes.... *smirks now*

I must admit I didn't know where- the one in my neighborhood came from- in terms of its source of being pumped. It was still commonly used up until the early 1980s'. Around then the new 'fashionable' thing to do was to pay "BWA" to have a 'standpipe' inside your own backyard. (A "Keeping up with the Jones" type of situation took place across the island.) And of course there was the Backyard showers... Each house improvised on this.... Cold water, on a chilly morning, in the middle of your yard, you were totally naked hiding behind the walls of your property... And then around the early 1990's many Barbadians started paying to have regular water facilities inside the house. Regular toilet, kitchen sink, bathroom sink, washing machines, showers, Solar hot-water systems, etc. (You'll easily see tons of Solar hot-water panels on the majority of rooftops all across the island nowadays.)

In 2000 I went back to the neighborhood standpipe and saw that not only was it obscured now by quite a bit of high weeds and brush it's since been turned off so that the Government could make sure people no longer "pirate water" as I was told "from it instead of paying for their own personal fair-share at their house." Things like--- going to the standpipe to wash your car and not have to worry about paying for it because it didn't go through your House's' water meter.

The basics: Water in Barbados is provided through the government controlled Barbados Water Authority (BWA). In recent times rainfall patterns have changed coming off the coast of Africa, during the mid-1990s following a serious summer drought the Barbados government entered into an agreement with Ionics of the USA to build a Desalination plant where Seawater would directly be taken into a water plant and through reverse-osmosis as the government always says it turns the salt water into drinkable water.

See also: [[1]]

This desalinized is okay... But let me tell you one thing. =) When you have this type of water in your house you QUICKLY learn about "hard-water" soaps and "soft-water" soaps. Sea water is 'soft-water' which means if you use a Hard-water soap like Lever 2000, Irish Spring etc. Firstly you will not be able to work up a lather. The other thing that will happen, is you will become coated in a film of soap that will not come off unless you scrub it off. That's my only complaint about the Desalination plant water. Is that the soaps I use from North America cannot be used down there because you'll get no lather- and you'll coat yourself in a white layer of soap reside. (A full body "shower soap-stain" in a nutshell.)

I think it's accurate to say near everybody in Barbados has water in their house... As well as electricity, and even DirecTV at US$ prices etc. CaribDigita 05:34, 18 January 2006 (UTC)


-- WATER WORRY - Dec/27/06 http://www.nationnews.com/story/319373050368009.php "BARBADOS is now using fresh water at a faster rate than its underground aquifers are replenishing.

Already listed by the United Nations as a water-scarce country, it is among 15 nations in different parts of the world, most of them in the Middle East, that are withdrawing water faster than they are replenishing it. "


More Physical APPLES?[edit]

Hello OFFICER .......Not to criticize, but I think this Article could benefit for a more physical map or more pictures. Good Stuff though.Showmanship is the key 00:46, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Anyone know actual Alkalinity of Barbados' soil?[edit]

According to the A~Z of Barbados Heritage Barbados' soils are ACID. According to Page 151 "Pineapple". (quote) Pineapples do not thrive on Barbados' alkaline soils, so how could it have been once so common? It was probable that the freshly cleared soil in the early stages of settlement was rich in leaf mould and therefore acidic, unlike today's alkaline soils.(end quote) CaribDigita (talk) 09:01, 19 January 2010 (UTC)