Why does Cayman Water employ reverse osmosis desalination, what about collecting rainwater or pumping fresh water from the ground?
Given the level of development and lifestyle the people of the Cayman Islands have chosen to pursue, seawater desalination is the only viable process available to consistently and reliably supply the level of water consumption demanded by the population of Cayman Islands. Traditional fresh ground water aquifers in the western parts of Grand Cayman, in Georgetown and West Bay, have already been depleted. There is simply not enough fresh groundwater to sustain the ever increasing water demand of the Cayman Islands. While rainwater collection sustained the Cayman Islands for many generations in more modest times, it again is simply not capable of realistically providing the level of water demand today. It is estimated that to collect the amount of water produced by Cayman Water in 2011 would require a collection area of one and a half square miles, about half the area of West Bay above the West Bay cemetery.