Jamaica Water Policy and Rural Water Strategy

The problem

Thirty percent of Jamaicans lacked piped water services, 13 percent of people in rural areas were still collecting water from rivers and streams, and piped sewer systems reached only 22 percent of the population. Water resources were threatened by unsustainable agriculture practices, and coral reefs threatened by pollution and climate change.

How we helped

Castalia helped Jamaica to draft a new national water policy and a strategy to provide safe water for all rural Jamaicans. The water policy enshrined Integrated Water Resource Management, the polluter pays principle, and full cost recovery for utility services It allowed private firms and community organizations to supply water and wastewater services, allowing competition, and reducing reliance on the dominant National Water Commission (NWC). Licensing and tariff rules were introduced to stop private firms from cherry-picking profitable customers and ignoring others.

Using geospatial analysis, we identified the areas where extending the NWC network into rural areas was optimal. For the remainder of the country we developed decentralized solutions such as rainwater-harvesting. We designed financial mechanisms, including targeted loans and grants for rural households to adopt these solutions.


The Policy has contributed to Jamaica’s vibrant water market and competitive landscape for water service provision. There are private providers who supply to resort areas, which limits bureaucracy, capital and water shortages. It is guiding reforms to improve financing, efficiency and service at the national water utility. Funding is being arranged to implement the decentralized solutions identified in the Rural Water Supply Development Strategy.

Our team

David Ehrhardt

David Ehrhardt

Chief Executive

How can we help you?

How can we help you?