ODPEM Government of Jamaica
Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management
Search:   Go
Disasters Do Happen
Protect Yourself From Drought

While we can predict with some accuracy when rainfall is expected, we cannot create rainfall. It is therefore extremely important that we do not waste this precious commodity.


Water Conservation Tips

Periods of drought in Jamaica often result in severe water shortages due to inadequate rainfall. You can minimize the effect of drought if special attention is focused on water conservation. 

Have you noticed that a lot of our water goes down the drain needlessly?  You can make a difference by being conscious of the amount of water you use and look for ways to use less whenever you can.

  • To start you can look around for leaks and repair them immediately. Most leaks are easy to detect and easy to repair.
  • Use just a glassful of water to brush your teeth.
  • A typical shower uses five to 10 gallons of water per minute. Limit your shower to the time it takes to wet your body and to wash off the lather. Install shower heads or flow restrictors. They will cut the flow of water to about three gallons per minute. That is saving a lot of water and money too!
  • Make sure that the toilet you have is using the least amount of water possible per flush. Do not use the toilet as a trash can for paper and facial tissues.
  • If you wash dishes by hand do not leave the water running for rinsing. If you have two sinks fill one with soapy water and the other with water for rinsing.
  • Do not let the pipe run while washing dishes or vegetables. Just rinse them in a sink or a pan of clean water.
  • Using a hose to wash cars, driveways and sidewalks could waste gallons of water. It is best to do this from a pan or basin, if absolutely necessary. Remember that during periods of drought and water restrictions, washing of cars and watering of lawns should not take place. When you wash you car with a bucket of water and a rag it not only saves you money, but it ensures that there will be more water when you need it most.
  • You may also save the rinse water from your dishes and laundry for the watering of your lawn and plants.
  • Do not allow your children to play with pipes, hoses and sprinklers. This activity could waste hundreds of gallons of precious water.

Fresh clean drinking water is yours to use but not to waste. It is too valuable. Remember that a little effort and a little common sense will make a big difference.

Following these simple tips can save you thousands of litres every year.

Back to top

Make Your Water Safe


During periods of drought, individuals will often have to store water for domestic purposes. It is important to use safe water during the drought periods to prevent diseases and maintain good health.


Safe water is treated water. Treat water before it is used for:

  • Drinking
  • Washing fruits and vegetables
  • Making ice
  • Making drinks
  • Preparing food
  • Washing dishes & utensils

Water taken from the following sources must be treated:

  • Water trucks
  • Springs and rivers
  • Community tanks
  • Drums and catchments tanks


How to Make Water Safe Using Bleach


How to Make Water Safe By Boiling


Allow water to "boil up" for at least five minutes before removing from the fire. Cover and let cool.


Prevent contamination of the boilt water by:

  • Storing water in a clean covered container. The lid of the container should fit tightly to prevent mosquito breeding.
  • Using a clean container with a handle to "dig-up" the water from storage.

Do not use containers that were used to store harmful chemicals.



Return to Drought

Important Notices | Help | © 2008, Government of Jamaica.All Rights Reserved