Tortola is the largest British Virgin island in the Lesser Antilles with an approximate population of 24,000 residents. 92% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) comes from tourism where close to one million people visit the island every year. As with many island nations without natural aquifers, Tortola must produce all of its drinking water and demand is constantly high. Historically the island has supplied fresh water to residents and visitors through seawater reverse osmosis desalination, but current facilities in operation are deteriorating and this is having a deleterious effect on the island’s environment and marine life.
In order to meet the island’s growing demand for fresh water supply, Biwater was contracted to design a new, environmentally-sound desalination facility to provide high-quality fresh water to the island alongside wastewater treatment facilities.