–to test feasibility of using surface water for domestic purposes
AS the government works towards increasing access to potable water, funds have been set aside for a feasibility study on using surface water at the Hope Canal for domestic consumption.
Allocations in the 2019 National Budget under the Ministry of Communities include provisions for the study under its Water Supply Improvement Project.
A sum of $150M has been budgeted under the programme for the Hope Canal study, as well as others on how best to improve water supply in other areas across the country. Funding is expected to come from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
In May this year, the CDB approved a loan of US$1.3M for Guyana, aimed at upgrading the water sector here, and as it noted at the time, the monies will be used to provide consultancy services to develop a national water policy, as well as to provide designs and estimates for the construction of water-treatment plants and the upgrade of related infrastructure.
The bank had also noted that the Hope Canal project was catered for under the loan. According to its Director of Projects Daniel Best: “We expect that these funds will be used to provide technically viable solutions for the improvement of water supply to approximately 68,000 people who live along the coast, as well as in the hinterland regions.”
The Hope Canal was built several years ago to provide drainage from the East Demerara Water Conservancy into the Atlantic Ocean.
In the 2019 National Budget, the Ministry of Communities has also set aside sums of money to upgrade the water-supply network at the mining town of Linden in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Upper Berbice) at a cost of $81M.
Under the project, titled Linden Water Supply in the budgetary estimates, the ministry plans to expand the water-distribution system at South Amelia’s Ward. In addition, the sum will cater for the rehabilitation of the West Watooka and Wisroc Water Treatment Plants, as well as the intake dock at West Watooka.
The ministry will also upgrade the Amelia’s Ward water-treatment plant, as well as the water-supply system at No. 58 Miles.