Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2015VI250B

Water Ambassador Program

Institute: Virgin Islands
Year Established: 2015 Start Date: 2015-03-01 End Date: 2016-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $20,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: Not available

Principal Investigators: christina chanes, David Morris, Avram Primack

Abstract: The United States Virgin Islands is a small territory just to the east of Puerto Rico that consists of three main islands, Saint Thomas, Saint Croix, and Saint John, and a few smaller, mostly unpopulated islands. A significant proportion of the population of all of these islands draws their water from cisterns that collect rooftop water. Some of the residents are dependent on groundwater sources. Everyone must purchase water purified by reverse osmosis when there are no other sources. Streams in the territory are intermittent and heavily impacted by erosion from construction activities and roads. Watersheds on Saint Thomas are heavily impacted by development activities that have increased impervious surfaces and diverted runoff into new and unstable channels. This project seeks funds to set up a Water Ambassadors Program that will train Cooperative Extension Service personnel at the University of the Virgin Islands in how to deliver lessons in hydrologic processes and watershed protection, extend the existing network of climate recording stations on Saint Thomas, and create an interface for collecting map data on hydrologic condition from the public. This proposal includes funding for the first year of what we expect will be a multiyear program that will reach the majority of public and private schools on Saint Thomas.