WOTA and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda sign Memorandum of Understanding to solve water issues
WOTA Corporation (Head Office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo, CEO: Yosuke Maeda, “WOTA”) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to initiate study of using WOTA’s technology to address water needs, with the Government of Antigua and Barbuda on 25 March 2022 (Fri).
The two parties will work together to solve water problems and achieve sustainable development in Antigua and Barbuda using WOTA’s technology.
【 Background 】
In 2021, WOTA was selected as a finalist for The Earthshot Prize, an environmental award established by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and the Royal Foundation. WOTA was then invited to The UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26) and there, had a discussion about water issues with Molwyn Joseph, the minister of Health, Wellness, and the Environment of Antigua and Barbuda. The potential of WOTA’s technology and products was highly evaluated.
This time, on the occasion of Prince William’s visit to the Caribbean to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, where natural disasters and water problems are prominent, consulted WOTA about the possibility of conducting a demonstration experiment, which led to the signing of a basic agreement.
【 Purpose of Memorandum of Understanding 】
To initiate study on demonstrating WOTA’s small-scale decentralized water reuse systems for water treatment in selected areas of Antigua and Barbuda.
The aim of the joint study is to improve unstable water supplies by using WOTA’s technology, and to enhance the ability to respond to natural disasters caused by extreme weather events.
【 Message regarding the signing of this basic agreement 】
Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Health, Wellness, and the Environment
“Climate change and other extreme weather events have compromised water security and hygiene for Antigua and Barbuda and other small island developing states (SIDS). These events have made our nation reliant on desalination or importing water for every-day use. Sourcing water in such a manner is costly for the average Antiguan and Barbudan. This partnership may be able to provide access to clean, safe and affordable water, to Antigua and Barbuda.“
Astronaut Councilor of Earthshot Prize
Our planet’s natural wonders are part of one global ecosystem and so our ability to collaborate across borders is vital in our quest for a sustainable world. I am delighted that Earthshot Finalist WOTA Corp has used the Earthshot platform to help establish global collaboration to scale their impact and help to repair and regenerate our planet.“
WOTA Corporation CEO
Access to clean water is critical to Small Island States where limited water availability is a major concern and extreme weather events caused by climate change are leading to exacerbated water pollution as well. Through the Prize, we have been building a stronger relationship with overseas partners. We are excited for the progress we made and will make in the Caribbean, starting with the Government of Antigua & Barbuda, to help solve their water challenges.“
【 About Antigua and Barbuda 】
Antigua and Barbuda is a British Commonwealth island nation in the eastern Caribbean Sea, consisting mainly of the islands of Antigua and Barbuda. The capital is St John’s. According to the World Bank, the population is approximately 97,000 (2020). The main industries are Tourism and Services, which account for just under 50% of GDP.
The country suffers from one of the highest water shortages in the Caribbean. (Total renewable water resources per capita is 566.3 m3/year. This is close to the level that FAO (The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) considers to be ‘absolute water scarcity’ = 500 m3/year).
Currently, about 70% of the island’s water supply is provided by seawater desalination, but the groundwater sources which the island relies on during the dry season, are decreasing year by year due to pollution from wastewater and climate change. There are fears that water shortages will become even more serious in the future.