Guyana to cut carbon footprint with 1st solar water treatment plant in 2023
…GWI reduces new service backlog from 7684 to 200
Guyana’s first solar-powered water treatment facility is on schedule for completion and commissioning in 2023, coming out of a $150 million EU-funded project.
The project is being funded through the European Union (EU) through the Caribbean Climate Change Centre in the Bahamas and spearheaded by the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI).
Manager of Water Resources and Climate Change Adaptation, Denise Woolford lauded on Friday, “It will see the reduction of our carbon dioxide emissions, which we know will minimise risks of climate change. As a company, we want to ensure that our activities add value and does not cause adverse effects.”
Further cementing its role in climate-friendly practices, GWI has embarked on an aquifer study in the Upper Takutu basin. Engagements have commenced with the Government of Japan, the intended donor to offset the US$1.5 million cost.
“We are prepared as a company to be ahead of time and ensure that all of our operations will ensure that future generations will benefit. This project is a study of our groundwater resource within that region and it is geared to ensuring that as a company, we effectively manage our water resources.”
At the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Guyana pledged to reduce its carbon emissions by 70 per cent in 2030 through a progressively cleaner energy mix.
The renewed Low Carbon Development Strategy – LCDS 2030, which will drive the country’s energy transition using a mix of renewable sources, will be an important instrument in this journey. Already, Cabinet has approved the construction of the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project (AFHP), generating clean power for the country.
Owing to widespread complaints directed at the low-quality water delivered by GWI, a “massive” water treatment project to the tune of $25 billion will soon be embarked.
Chief Executive Officer, Shaik Baksh announced on Friday that 12 large water treatment plants will be built to complement the existing 28 across Guyana. Ten smaller plants are to be built to fill the remaining gaps.
“The cry of the population on the coastal belt is the quality of the water. Treated water is important. The Government, over the next three years, has committed to funding a massive water treatment programme. GWI, as the executing agency under the Ministry of Housing and Water, has been mandated to proceed to ensure completion,” the CEO divulged.
Tenders for seven of the large treatment plans are scheduled for release by the end of May 2022.
“We’re moving at a speed to go out there to tender for contractors. It will be designed and build programme for seven. The other five will come later in the year; we’re hoping by the last quarter in all regions.”
Between June and July, a pilot project will kickstart the smaller plants for complete coverage on the coastal stretch. Upgrades to 10 existing treatment plants are to follow, with tenders going out in June.
Baksh elaborated, “In all of this, we have factored in the new housing areas. Over the next two to three years, those persons who are going to take up the house lots in the new housing area will be given treated water also. It (treated water) is coming. We ask the population to be patient on that.”
Meanwhile, GWI facilitated some 7684 new service connections since September 2020. It also managed to eliminate the build-up of applications, which is now down to 200.
Another $5 billion was allotted by Government for coastal, urban and hinterland capital projects since then. In Georgetown, replacement of the transmission and distribution lines are ongoing. Lamaha, Cemetery Road, New Town and Vlissengen Road projects were completed. Contractors are to embark on the Church Street project to replace the archaic pipelines.
“For the three years ending 2022, the Government would put in $1 billion in terms of expenditure to replace these pipelines. There’s the commitment there. We’re planning for Phase Two implementation before the end of 2022. We appeal to the residents of Georgetown to be patient with us as we renew the infrastructure.” (G12)