A $60M state-of-the-art Water Quality Laboratory will soon be commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture’s Hydromet Department as the entity advances its water quality testing capabilities.

Once functional, the new facility, which is located in the Hydromet Department’s Brickdam office, will boost the capacity to effectively retrieve and process information vital for assessing the quality of the country’s water resources.

Chief Hydromet Officer (ag), Dr. Garvin Cummings, has stated that the lab, once operational, would further enable the Hydrometeorology Service to accomplish extensive duties as it relates to water resource management – an area the entity has placed enhanced focus on in the past to ensure it is significantly developed.

“This laboratory is a very important and significant addition to the hydrological monitoring framework within the Service. It adds to the existing resources that the Service has for the monitoring of water quantity and places the Hydromet Department in a position to undertake its broader responsibilities for water resources management in Guyana,” Dr. Cummings said.

The project, which began in 2018, seeks to fulfill the purpose of the Hydromet Service’s mandate to establish national monitoring systems for water resources under the Water and Sewerage Act of 2002.

Among the services to be performed, the Hydromet Department would possess the ability to facilitate the testing of water samples gathered from both ground and surface water sources to determine their quality, in addition to establishing a database for Guyana’s baseline national water quality. Such a database would support and inform environmental protection, infrastructural development, and agriculture.

Meanwhile, Minister within the Ministry of Agriculture, Hon. Valerie Patterson-Yearwood, in an invited comment stated that this augurs well for the agricultural sector, noting its importance in ensuring citizens have access to safe and potable water.

“Essentially, water quality testing ensures that water is safe and meets local and international standards. This facility will offer internationally recognised testing procedures through detailed water sampling techniques and other technology to ensure water is safe for the purposes intended,” Minister Patterson-Yearwood said.

She added that the introduction of such a facility creates an enabling environment for youths and persons interested in water quality testing and expressed encouragement for them to get into the area of study, citing its importance to the country’s development. The Minister will soon embark on a tour of the facility ahead of its commissioning.

The facility will also allow the Hydromet Department to issue early detection bulletins for water-borne diseases, provide insight into the effects of water patterns on water quality, and influence future policies in relation to the management of the country’s water resources.

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