Jan 21, 2016 News
By Mondale Smith
While 60 percent of the surface water used by the Shelter Belt comes from the East Demerara Water conservancy the current critically low levels have become a source of concern for the nation’s main water supplier.
Georgetown uses some 50 million litres (11 million gallons) of water per day
Making it clear that there is a decline in surface water and not a water crisis, Dr. Richard Van West-Charles, the Guyana Water Inc -Chief Executive, issued a call for more stringent public conservation even as the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority begins pumping water into the East Demerara Water Conservancy from the Maduni.
The pumping is being done on a 24 hour basis until further notice to augment the current depleted amounts in the conservancy which could drastically affect the water supply nationwide. The Conservancy supplies 60 percent of the water used by GWI consumers while the remaining supplies come from the 126 wells, nationwide.
The call for conservation comes even as efforts are being made to remedy the situation due to the prolonged dry season which is affecting the water levels of the EDWC.
The nation’s main supplier of Water and Sanitation Services advises that as a result of the prolonged dry season, changes have been observed with regard to the capacity of the East Demerara Water Conservancy (EDWC).
GWI is advising citizens nationwide to immediately commence measures to conserve on the use of water with particular emphasis to citizens of Georgetown.
The optimum level for the Conservancy is 57.5 Georgetown Datum while the minimum storage level is 53.5. Yesterday, the level was 52.7. He said that this means that water cannot flow by gravity, into the Lama Canal which supplies Georgetown.
GWI is therefore urging that citizens of Georgetown become part of the process of reducing the amount of water utilized. The company, in its measures to conserve, has made several recommendations that should be immediately implemented by citizens.
“Check all internal plumbing for leaks including toilet cisterns and taps, and reduce the number of times you wash your car, equipment, etc with water supplied by GWI,” said Dr. Van West Charles.
Additionally the Chief Executive is also asking that citizens desist from washing concrete surfaces (such as your yard or bridge) with water provided by GWI and immediately install ‘flow-valves’ in water tanks to prevent overflows.
“Contact GWI immediately to report leaks detected in your community on 227-8701, 227-8703 or 227-8704.”
Further, GWI is appealing to the heads and administrative staff of all schools, health facilities, hotels, food entities, etc. to ensure that all internal plumbing is operating correctly and to repair any leaks or prevent any wastage.
In particular, GWI is appealing to all fast food entities, hotels and restaurants to efficiently manage the use of water.
Citizens are also being asked to note that conservation is also a security measure to ensure that adequate water supply is available in the event of a fire. Hence, Dr. Van West Charles notes that it is imperative that every citizen implement conservation measures immediately.
GWI also advises that while citizens may experience a decrease in the levels of service provided, changes will not be made to the hours of delivery or the quality of service provided.
GWI in collaboration with the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) is currently monitoring the levels of the EDWC with the aim of implementing a series of activities which will seek to address the current situation.
The company has intensified the monitoring of all distribution networks for leaks and breakages and is therefore appealing to all citizens to immediately report any leaks within their communities.
Contrary to other reports Van West Charles said, “We have not reduced water supply by 50 percent in the shelter belt.”
Georgetown will increase the water pressure during peak periods at different times of the day between 5-9am, 11am-12:30pm and from 4-8pm. During the other time periods there will be a reduction through less pressure in the supply.
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