The Guyana Water Incorporated today opened a five day training workshop on water quality improvement at the Georgetown Club. The sessions are being facilitated by experts from the World is our Water Foundation out of Holland. During the opening session of the workshop, Managing Director of GWI, Dr. Richard Van West-Charles said the training session was prompted by his management’s intense focus on water quality.
Dr. Van West-Charles noted that the treatment processes carried out in the past at GWI were not done under established guidelines, explaining that the sedimentation tanks were not cleaned for a number of years. However, the past few months have seen significant improvements with systems being put in place to ensure proper treatment.
He also noted that GWI is intensifying its efforts to ensure equal access to potable water for residents in riverain areas and exploring a variety of modalities that will benefit the population. The Managing Director of GWI also highlighted the company’s new approach in testing water samples hourly.
Treating water with high iron content and leak detection are aspects of water quality that are of priority for GWI. The areas where iron is being looked at currently are Ithaca, West Bank Berbice; Edinburg, East Berbice-Corentyne; Goed Fortuin, West Bank Demerara and Agricola and North Ruimveldt in Georgetown.
The need for engineers to understand the process of water treatment was also underscored by the Managing Director who pointed out that most of the engineers who graduate from the University of Guyana have no training in this regard.
Dr. Van West-Charles noted however that he has had discussions with Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Professor Ivelaw Griffith to explore the possibilities of implementing courses in water engineering and treatment, which he believes will help to fill the knowledge gap.
Meanwhile, Executive Director of Project Implementation & Partnership Building, Mr. Ramchand Jailal said while 50 per cent of Guyana’s population currently has access to treated water, GWI, through a five year strategic plan, is working to ensure that treated water is accessible countrywide.
Mr. Jailall said interaction with their Dutch counterparts during the training will aid in ensuring the best designs are adopted for the construction of water treatment plants.
He further explained that over the next four days, the participants as well as facilitators will be visiting the water treatment facilities and engaging in knowledge sharing exercises.