Laman means ocean in Papiamento, the national language of Curacao.
Fresh water is one of the world’s most valuable resources, yet it is becoming increasingly scarce, especially in decentralized regions such as islands. An increasing amount of island states have been experiencing the depletion and pollution of their water resources, to which the Caribbean island of Curacao is no exception.
Curacao is a semi-arid Lesser Antilles island country located in the Southern Caribbean sea. Over the years, climate change, over-extraction and pollution have been putting pressure on the islands’ water system, of which groundwater is an essential component. Due to the relatively high costs of tap water, groundwater is actively used for domestic and agricultural purposes through a network of industrial and unregistered household wells that tap into the subsurface waters. Together with climate change, over-extraction is causing Curacao’s subsurface aquatic system to become increasingly saline due to seawater intrusion. Salinization should be avoided at all cost, as it has many undesirable and irreversible consequences, among which the degradation of the quality of the water supply and soil. Coastal salinization in Curacao was already observed in a hydrogeochemical groundwater research conducted in the 1992 by Louws et al. (1997), yet no other similar research has been conducted since, leaving the continuation of this process to the imagination. Besides seawater intrusion, island aquifers are also under threat from pollution originating from agricultural, chemical and human waste.