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Project Requirement

The Integrating Water, Land and Ecosystems Management in Caribbean Small Island Developing States (GEF-IWEco) Project is a multi-focal, regional project that builds upon the work of previous initiatives, to address water, land, and biodiversity resource management, as well as climate change in ten participating countries.  As part of Sub-component 1.1 of the Jamaican sub-project, Planning Hydrological Restoration of the Negril Environmental Protection Area, the analysis of historical changes within the Negril Great Morass, the assessment of the current hydrological regime and scenario modelling for rewetting, were required. There were five specific hydrological restoration targets/areas:

  1. Wild bush fire risk reduction measures.
  2. West Indian Whistling Duck wetland improvements.
  3. East canal water level control measures.
  4. Eastern spring flow capture measures.
  5. Wetland Sedimentation control.
Project Solution

Historical maps of the area were digitized and brought together with auxiliary geospatial meteorological and hydrological data in GIS to support the historical evaluation undertaken by GWP Consultants LLP. The relationship between hydrological restoration objectives and hydrological model selection was explored and geomorphological terrain modelling was deemed the most suitable for the intended objectives.  The Digital Elevation Model (DEM) resulting from a Síor project-commissioned survey was zoned into areas considered ‘reliable’ and ‘uncertain’ for modelling predictions, within which rainfall-run-off modelling was completed. A hydrological flow routing analysis utilizing the DEM was undertaken, allowing for the alignments and locations of storm water run-off flows to be identified. Each of the five hydrological restoration targets/areas were then assessed by modelling the hydrological flow and ponding of water in the Morass as a result of introducing various retention structures (bunds) and/or flow blockers of varying heights and locations, as well as routing the eastern groundwater springs further into the centre of the Morass.  This analysis ultimately identified the optimum water levels required to deliver the ideal areas and depths of water retention in the wetland for the five restoration targets.

Project Benefit

The wider IWEco project will contribute to the preservation of Caribbean ecosystems that are of global significance and the sustainability of livelihoods through the application of existing proven technologies and approaches that are appropriate for small island developing states through improved fresh and coastal water resources management, sustainable land management and sustainable forest management that also seek to enhance resilience of socio-ecological systems to the impacts of climate change. With specific regard to the Jamaican IWEco national sub-project, stakeholder consultation, assessment of historical hydromorphic changes to the drainage of the Morass, meteorological and hydrological analysis, coupled with detailed geomorphological terrain rainfall run-off modelling, has enabled the identification of hydrological restoration strategies to support the delivery of the wetland degradation reduction and improvement goals.

Activities Completed
  • Geospatial data and geodatabase management.
  • GIS environmental analysis.
  • Use of LiDAR-derived Digital Terrain Models for hydrological characterization and scenario modelling.
  • Production of spatially and temporally distributed parameterization for GIS-based hydrological models.
  • Production/programming of automated (VBA-, JAVA-, Python-based) GIS workflows.
  • Data analysis visualisation through production of automated GIS drawings.
  • Drawing production and online WebApp presenting model outputs.
Project Details

Client: GWP Consultants LLP, Environmental Solutions Limited, IWEco
Project title: Consultancy for the Hydrological Assessment of a Wetland Ecosystem, under the Jamaican IWEco national sub-project, Biodiversity Mainstreaming in Coastal Landscapes within the Negril Environmental Protection Area of Jamaica
Location: Jamaica
Date: 2020 – 2022
Main Síor contact: Dónal Neville (
Project infographics/stats: Delivery achieved on budget (USD) and to agreed timelines

Areas of Expertise
  • Geospatial Solutions: GIS, Geospatial Data Preparation, Characterization and Analysis
  • Water Resources: Hydrogeological Interpretation & Analysis, Geospatial Flood Risk Modelling
  • Environmental Science: Visualisation Specialist
  • Environmental Data Science: Programmer/App Development
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