Adopt A River is an initiative developed by WASA and administered through its Water Resources Agency (WRA) that involves communities and corporate entities engaged in sustainable activities aimed at improving the health of rivers and watersheds in Trinidad and Tobago. The implementation of this programme is in accordance with the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources’ mandate to protect and preserve the environment.

Why Adopt A River?

Simply put because water supports all life.

Water is pivotal to human existence and the lifeblood of the environment. The rivers that feed into the waters that surround our country are under threat from industrial, agricultural and domestic activities.

There are a number of organisations and agencies that have been engaged in work and projects on our rivers and watersheds with the hope of improving the quality of these ecosystems. The outcomes and benefits however have been short-lived and unsustainable. As such, the Adopt A River Programme aims to coordinate these efforts in an umbrella managerial approach to improve the health of our watersheds and the lives of the people who depend on it.

Overall Status of Rivers in Trinidad and Tobago

Over 64% of the sampled sites have poor water quality. 

Parameters  % of sites with negative impacts  Status of the country 
(High) Habitat impairment 83 Poor 
(Low) Biotic Diversity 78 Poor 
(High) Nitrates 84 Poor 
(Poor) pH 7 Good 
(Low) Dissolved Oxygen 40 Fair 
(High) Total Suspended Solids* 64 Poor 
(High) Phosphates 92 Poor 
(High) Biological Oxygen Demand 20 Fair 
(High) Heavy metals in sediments 63 Poor 
(High) Heavy metals in water 100 Poor 

Anything that occurs on land can directly affect streams, rivers, lakes and the groundwater. Motor oil, sediment from quarries, pesticides and fertilizers can all reach watercourses through sewers, runoff, and infiltration. Industrial pollution, agricultural runoff, erosion and deforestation from logging, untreated municipal sewage and faulty septic systems can all affect watersheds.