An $83 million facility was officially opened by Agriculture Minister, Noel Holder at the Hydrometeorological Service office on Brickdam.
According to the Department of Public Information, the laboratory will monitor, examine and compile data on the use of the country’s surface and groundwater resources.
The Water and Sewerage Act of 2002 states that the Hydrometeorological Department is responsible for managing the country’s water resources.
In his address, the Agriculture Minister noted that the event marks an important milestone for the Hydrometeorological Department in fulfilling its mandate.
“This marks the beginning of the thrust towards establishing a national water quality monitoring network and the establishment of a central repository for all information on the quality of the country’s resources,” the Minister remarked.
According to DPI, Holder also noted that the commissioning of the water quality lab falls under the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 as it acknowledges the importance of water quality.
While the Hydromet Service will be the primary user of the facility for regulatory sampling and analysis of water, the lab is open to all to test water quality, DPI reported.
Chief Hydrometeorological Officer, Dr Garvin Cummings reflected on the period when testing was done in what he described as a small and very unattractive room. He further noted that while a lot of time and energy was put into the testing process, the results could not have withstood scrutiny or be used in any solid analysis. This, he said, was the catalyst for the establishment of the new facility.The lab also has a separate room for chemical analysis, biological analysis and the weighing of samples.