Govt considering establishment of national water council – Rodrigues

The Government is actively considering establishing a National Water Council to manage the usage of water across the 83,000 square miles of Guyana.
This was disclosed by Minister within the Housing and Water Ministry, Susan Rodrigues during a recent discussion on the Guyana Dialogue.
According to Rodrigues, Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy, which was crafted by the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) administration caters for the establishment of such a council.
On this point, the minister said developing such a body will play a critical role in addressing the pressing need for efficient water management amid challenges posed by climate change, which continues to threaten this valuable resource.
In this regard, she disclosed that works will commence soon on a water use policy to govern the function of the National Water Council.
“Looking at a National Water Council that will have oversight of all sectors that use water so, its not just potable water but all the sectors and this includes Agriculture and Hydromet…This is to ensure that water is used responsibly and that we have proper mechanisms to preserve and conserve water and that’s been missing from our architecture in terms of water use. So, we want to get that policy done and that council in place,” Rodrigues explained.
In addition to policy initiatives, the government is taking concrete steps to improve access to potable water, particularly in hinterland regions.
Rodrigues announced plans to drill an additional 40 wells in the hinterland, supplementing the 75 wells already drilled in the past three years.
This initiative aims to address water scarcity issues in remote communities and enhance water security.
“We have several communities still that how they receive their water through rain water harvesting, creek or stream or a hand dug well in some cases too. So, that is why we are so aggressive in the hinterland and we set ourselves a target of 100 percent access to water… So, that people can have access to a well and we accompany that well with a photovoltaic system, pumps, extra storage for the villages and the distribution network,” the Housing and Water Minister said.
Since assuming office in August 2020, more than 35,000 applicants have gained first-time access to potable and treated water services through the current administration’s comprehensive water accessibility programme.
As a result, nearly 100 per cent of coastal residents now having access to clean water.
Rodrigues emphasised that this significant expansion recorded is part of the administration’s national agenda that advocates for the implementation of sustainable water management practices. (G1)