Freshwater Wells

There are over 120 freshwater wells located across the island. Although these are now too brackish for human use, they are still vital for farmers for watering plants and keeping their goats hydrated.

Although freshwater on Bonaire may be scarce, up until the 1960’s the people of Bonaire were able to collect their drinking water from a few freshwater wells, or ‘pos’ located around the island. Unfortunately, most of these wells are now brackish, and therefore not suitable for human consumption. Nowadays, drinking water for the island’s inhabitants is created through desalinated seawater although some locals still rely on groundwater for salt tolerant crops or for goats.

Across Bonaire there are 123 different wells, not all of which are still operational.

Below you will find a map of the freshwater wells located on Bonaire, as described in a 2005 study by Borst and de Haas.  During this study, researchers found that most of the wells of the island are indeed brackish.  It was recommended that groundwater quality and quantity can be improved by harvesting rainwater through building and maintaining dams and improving vegetation cover across the island.

Boorst and de Haas, 2005

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