3rd place 2023 – Curaçao
Xploration Coastline Curaçao
GTI Awards 2023 – 3rd place
Island (Region, Province, Country):
up to 200.000 inhabitants
Budget / cost of the project:
The essence of Xploration Coastline is to match the demand of water production & treatment in the most energy efficient way for small Islands, delta and coastline regions.
The ambition of Xploration Coastline Curaçao is threefold:
- To meet the primary need for drinking water in humanitarian relief operations in the Caribbean region in an efficient and sustainable manner;
- Provide water security for agricultural development and thereby better ensure food security for the people of Curaçao and SIDS;
Provide an open innovation platform with public and private partners to stimulate social and technical innovation in the water-food-energy nexus.
Project description of activities and specific interventions:
The plan of action will consist of the following interventions:
- Developing an active Public – Private Ecosystem of stakeholders from government, business, knowledge institutions, farmers and citizens that enables the integral development of the West Groot Sint Joris area on Curaçao for sustainable agriculture and food production.
- The technical development and realization of Coastline as a mobile floating water production plant for the production of irrigation water in the area of West Groot Sint Joris.
- Creating the legal and social preconditions for sustainable development of the West Groot Sint Joris area.
- To stimulate agricultural activities in the agricultural area of West Groot Sint Joris.
- The development and realization of an open innovation platform for technological development in the water-food-energy nexus through active involvement of innovation partners and knowledge institutions.
- The development and implementation of a governance model and logistics infrastructure for the deployment of Coastline as an emergency drinking water supply during humanitarian relief operations in the Caribbean region.
Realizing the governance and financial safeguards to enable these interventions.
Public outreach, education and awareness efforts and results:
In May 2022, Curaçao hosted the 3-day Xploration Coastline Freshwater Conference. Experts in the fields of humanitarian aid, water and energy signed a letter of intent for the development and realization of Xploration Coastline. As a follow-up, partnerships with the local utility company and the University of Curaçao were established in 2022 and an action plan was developed with Curaçao policy makers and signed by the Council of Ministers in December 2022. In the first quarter of 2023, further meetings will be held with the ministries of Curaçao, the Netherlands, UNICEF and PAHO to further shape the realization of Xploration Coastline Curaçao. In addition, a local community of practitioners and agricultural entrepreneurs has been activated to share knowledge and experiences focused on the development of agriculture and food security on Curaçao and other Caribbean islands.
In parallel with these developments, the Coastline Living Lab was established in the port of Rotterdam. In cooperation with the Hogeschool Rotterdam and technology partners, new and sustainable technologies are being developed here that can be applied in Xploration Coastline Curaçao.
Economic value added and how calculated:
The project is expected to be able to grow Curacao’s agricultural sector from 3 percent to 25 local production. This could mean that some 7,000 people could eventually work directly and indirectly in the agricultural sector and related sectors such as food processing and distribution. Current employment in this sector is currently limited. The project could make agriculture one of the largest sectors on the island. Assuming an average income of Nafl 1,750 per month, this means an economic added value of over Nafl 147mln (over EUR 73,5mln) per Year in the longer term.
Other economic returns are more complex to monetize, including:
- Faster, more sustainable and more efficient emergency water supply in humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations in the region;
- Strengthening food security for Curaçao and reduced dependency on foreign food imports;
- Development of Curacao as a hub for emergency operations in the region;
- Development of a knowledge center in the field of water-food-energy technology on Curacao for the Caribbean region.
Ecological and social project outcomes:
Development of the West Groot Sint Joris area into an agricultural area will lead to:
- Tackling current illegal activities in the area and legalizing agricultural activities;
- Stopping illegal waste dumping in the area and its impact on the surrounding area and marine environment;
- Stopping illegal excavation in the area;
- Stopping excessive groundwater extraction that leads to salinization;
- Restoration of ecological values in the area, including restoration of waterways, topsoil and soil quality, restoration of groundwater levels;
- Increasing safety in the area
- Increase in employment for entrepreneurs and workers in the agricultural sector and related industries enabling people to build a secure livelihood from farming;
- In addition, the deployment of Coastline for relief operations will contribute to:
- More sustainable emergency water supply in the region eliminating waste from plastic bottles and preventing the footprint of importing water bottles by planes and the associated waste;
- Prevention of disaster related health risks due to water shortages.