Guyana to get first solar-powered water treatment plant in 2023
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GWI’s Manager of Water Resources and Climate Change Adaptation, Denise Woolford and CEO Shaik Baksh
GWI’s Manager of Water Resources and Climate Change Adaptation, Denise Woolford and CEO Shaik Baksh

IN keeping with President Irfaan Ali’s commitment at the COP26 summit to reduce the country’s carbon emissions by 70 per cent by 2030, the country’s first-ever solar-powered water treatment facility is expected to be commissioned in 2023.

This was disclosed by Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI)’s Manager of Water Resources and Climate Change Adaptation Denise Woolford, at a recent press briefing.

The facility, valued at over US $750,000 (approximately G$150 million), is being funded by the European Union via the Caribbean Climate Change Centre in Barbados, and will aim to reduce GWI’s carbon dioxide emissions.

“This will then minimise the risks of climate change, and, as a company, we want to ensure that our activities add value, and do not cause adverse effects,” Woolford said.

Additionally, the GWI intends to conduct an aquifer study on the groundwater resources in Region Nine’s Upper-Takutu basin at a projected cost of US $1.5 million (approximately G$300 million).

Woolford said this research journey will provide betterment for the nation’s future generations.

“It is to ensure that, as a company, we effectively manage our water resources, not only for us here but for all about future generations,” Woolford said, adding: “This project is more in the nascent stages, and we’re currently in engagements with the Government of Japan, who is our intended donor for this project.”

Meanwhile, GWI’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shaik Baksh, in speaking about the company’s progress regarding the replacement of transmission and distribution lines in Georgetown, said that in the last three years, the government would have put in $1 billion in terms of expenditure to replace the pipelines.

Thus far, Cemetery Road, Newtown, among other road projects are completed and similar works are projected to begin along Church Street to East Street in the first phase by month-end. Phase Two of these works will be done within the Avenue of the Republic and Water Street areas.

CEO Baksh noted that the pipelines are fairly old, hence the need to commence these works as quickly as possible.

However, for consumers to experience the least disruptions, lines will be installed along the Merriman’s Mall, East Street, and other areas due to strategic planning, according to GWI’s Executive Director of Programme and Planning, Marlon Daniels.

“We would have consulted with GPL [and] GTT who have some amount of cabling along the way. We also spoke directly to the Ministry of Public Works, the Mayor and City Council … to partner with us to ensure this process moves smoothly,” he noted.

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