Farmers urged to conserve on water as EDWC drops low
Farmers and all users of water from the East Demerara Water Conservancy (EDWC) are being urged to conserve water as the water level in the conservancy has dropped below the “dead storage level.”
The lowest safe level for the conservancy to provide irrigation water to farmlands is 53.50 GD (Georgetown Datum). The current level is below that, now standing at 52.65 GD, Lionel Wordsworth, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) said yesterday.
Wordsworth told Kaieteur News that the conservancy needs to be re-charged with water above the 53.50 GD level to fully satisfy the irrigation needs by gravity flow.
As a result, farmers and all users utilising fresh water from the EDWC are advised to conserve on the use of water, avoid wastage and not to tamper with any structure that will affect the operation of the irrigation system.
Wordsworth said the NDIA has been conducting regular inspection of the conservancy. In addition, there is 24-hour security and monitoring of the EDWC.
The conservancy holds water to irrigate farmlands during the dry season. Efforts are underway to better manage the conservancy.
The World Bank, on October 11, 2007, approved what it called ‘The Conservancy Adaptation Project’, for overall, US$3.8 million.
The project aims at strengthening the government’s and donor understanding of the EDWC system and coastal drainage patterns through the integration of advanced mapping and engineering analysis.
The project also aims at implementing infrastructure investments to improve drainage performance, to strengthen the institutional capacity for managing water and floodwater levels, and to guide interventions to reduce Guyana’s vulnerability to floods.
The Conservancy system includes a reservoir, fronted by an earthen dam; drainage channels, used to release excess water from the reservoir during the rainy season; and a network of canals used to provide drinking water and irrigation during the dry seasons.
Because of this system, farmers are able to realise two harvests of sugar cane and rice annually.