Central Government has recognized the need for a National Water Council that would have the responsibility for the management of water resources all across the country. This has been identified as critical if a high quality of water service is to be provided.
Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan, recently told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that suitably qualified individuals have been shortlisted to fill vacancies on the National Water Council and it is the expectation that the body would come into being very shortly.
A change in the national approach to managing water resources in Guyana to one of integrated water resource management is vital if the negative effects of improper water management are to be eliminated, Minister Bulkan explained.
“Despite the prevalence of water in the country, the recent event of El Niño shows that the country is vulnerable. It reminded that water management remains a critical area and a critical issue that has to be addressed, and it will be one of the areas of responsibility of the National Water Council,” the Minister said.
According to the minister, the promotion of water management will see the government also looking at the operations of the utility companies, especially as it relates to the reduction of non-revenue water to improve efficiency.
The minister explained that the Guyana Water Inc. (GWI) is in the process of creating a new strategic plan, which will guide this process, thereby ensuring that Guyanese have access to reliable, safe and quality potable water.
The government, on assuming office completed a quick analysis of the state of the Guyana Water Inc. which showed that the agency was operating at a loss. It was found that the economic costs of production of potable water surpass the current tariff, with electricity cost and non-revenue water being key factors affecting financial viability.
The National Water Council and the new strategic plan will resolve these issues by ensuring that improvement and efficiency related to reducing losses in the production and distribution of potable water are addressed.