However, Dominica—also known as “The Nature Isle”—is a very green place, in more ways than just the lush, verdant jungle that covers most of the island. When I was in St. Lucia, it was during the dry season, and water was in short supply. Some of you will recall the blog story I wrote about “bucket baths” which were the norm during my time there due to the drought. Fortunately, Dominica is blessed with a number of natural lakes and fresh mountain springs, so the precious resource of good water is in abundance here. I've never had to take a bucket bath since leaving St. Lucia. Even when Tropical Storm Erika disrupted the public water system, I was still able to take showers and draw water from the facility my village has built around a local mountain spring (see my Erika story here—and a new blog story about the village spring will soon be coming).
The largest lake here is aptly named Freshwater Lake and is located high in the interior of the island. We visited there recently and at nearly 3000 feet high, it was a bit chilly up there that day. I hope to go back there someday in the summer and rent a kayak to explore the coves and backwaters of this large lake (I have a kayak back home in West Virginia, but I couldn't bring it with me!).
At Freshwater Lake, I could see one of the large pipes (at least a meter wide, if not larger) that carry water down to a power station. As you can see in this picture, it looks a bit like a giant black snake working its way across the landscape.Trafalgar Falls (which I visited and wrote about a few months ago). When it comes to turning hydroelectric turbines, one of the keys to success is the hydrostatic “head pressure.” By locating the power generating stations at lower altitudes, and building large sturdy pipes to deliver the water from high altitudes, Dominica's turbines spin quite well! [To get a sense of scale, note the adjoining flights of stairs for maintenance workers next to the vertical pipe in the picture below.]
I also wish my native state of West Virginia would embrace clean, green power. It seems to me that while we already have some hydroelectric power, there is the potential for more of our lakes and rivers to be converted into the production of hydropower. It makes sense to me!