As the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) continues to increase capacity in water production and supply to citizens across Guyana, clean and reliable sources of energy remains a challenge.
These were the sentiments expressed by Managing Director of GWI, Dr. Richard Van West-Charles, as he gave the opening remarks at day one of the company’s Groundwater Geophysics and Well Maintenance Workshop, hosted at the Regency Suites on Friday, September 13, 2019.
He noted that over the past three and a half years, GWI has drilled over 55 wells throughout Guyana as part of its quest to fulfill its mission statement, which is to deliver safe and adequate water to citizens. This will ensure that this most important commodity is readily available to developing housing schemes countrywide. It is with this in mind that GWI has begun the process to explore new avenues for clean, reliable and affordable sources of energy.
“Indeed we do have some challenges…with clean energy. In the Hinterland we are primarily using solar energy but we are also exploring hybrid systems of solar and wind and in some cases generators,” the Managing Director stated.
On the coast however, Dr. Van West Charles noted that “We have most of our difficulties in terms of clean and stable energy.” He further explained that as a water utility, GWI is paying the highest price for power in Guyana and in the Caribbean, although it is providing a basic good to the populace.
Dr. Van West-Charles said there is need for better stakeholder collaboration, since the unreliable supply of energy has become unbearable, thus causing significant barriers to achieving the company’s mission. He said GWI intends to engage GPL in dialogue but called on the energy utility to reassess its relationship with GWI going forward.
The workshop, at which he was speaking, was organised by GWI and facilitated by Fox Services and Trade. It is being held on September 13 & 14 and is intended for GWI’s technical staff members such as Regional Managers, Engineers and Water Quality personnel, focusing on groundwater geophysics and its use in Guyana, operations in well drilling, iron bacteria and water quality control and alternatives for chemical treatment among other topics. Approximately 50 persons were selected to participate in the workshop.
According to the Managing Director, as the technical staff become exposed to new chemicals and equipment, they need to undergo the requisite training so as to improve efficiency in maintenance and therefore, training workshops such as these are important.