GWI aims to boost water supply with new drilling rigs
…eight new wells to be drilled by May 2021
The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) has acquired two new drilling rigs which will boost the company’s efforts in digging wells at an affordable cost which will ultimately increase the water supply throughout the country.
One of the rigs cost a whopping $160 million from Brazil while the second one was acquired at the tune of $120 million and will be operating in the interior locations.
Speaking to the media at a simple ceremony, Managing Director of GWI, Dr Richard Van West-Charles highlighted that improving capacity through groundwater production is part of the company’s strategic plan.
In the era of COVID-19, where water is the primary defence against the potentially deadly virus, the Managing Director stated that GWI is an organisation strategically placed to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think for everyone, COVID-19 highlights the critical importance of water and this is where GWI as [a] strategically placed organisation has got to respond,” he asserted.
He noted that as of January 2020, the company would have seen a 20 per cent increase in water consumption. Due to this, he believes that the rigs came in a timely manner.
While the rig is expected to strengthen the company’s in-house capabilities, the Managing Director also pointed out that GWI is expecting equipment out of Holland that will be used to maintain and sustain wells across the country. This, he said, will address any existing gaps in serving the population.
“From January to date there has been a 20 per cent increase in water consumption and this rig has come at the right time. GWI will be in a much better position at the end of this year and as we break into 2021 in terms of ensuring our population across the country [bridge] the gaps in equity,” Dr Van West-Charles said.
Meanwhile, the company’s Director of Operations, Dwayne Shako explained that the rig will allow them to drill wells in Region Six where wells are about 1400 feet deep.
Shako also revealed that some eight new wells are in the cards to be drilled on the coastland between now and 2021.
The first site identified for a new well is Central Ruimveldt. This will allow areas such as Roxanne Burnham Gardens, East, and West Ruimveldt, which are currently receiving 12 hours of service, to be brought up to 24 hours.
Other areas that can expect new wells are Fyrish – Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), Tuschen, Farm – Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), – Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) and Amelia’s Ward – Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).
Shako also explained that the rig will allow GWI to complete drilling within a much shorter timeframe on the coast along with being cost-effective.
Vice-Chairman of GWI’s Board of Directors, David Dewar said the acquisition of the rig is history being remade since the utility once possessed a rig back in the 1980s. He congratulated management on this achievement, noting that it would significantly help to reduce the cost of drilling wells.
Chair of the Board’s Water Resources and Technical Committee, Gavin Todd said that as a body, the Board would have embarked on a number of capital projects aimed at providing safe water to the nation.
He added that this signals the company’s ability to act in light of the nation’s growing demand for water.
The rig, which was purchased with funding from the Government of Guyana, has the capacity to drill 1000 metres deep and was procured from Fox Trading, in Brazil.