Formulation of Groundwater Management plan progressing

(Georgetown, Wednesday, 10th April, 2019) – The first phase of the formulation of a Groundwater Management plan has been completed, with the Geo-Physical logging of 100 wells along the coast of Guyana.

Groundwater is the most reliable source of potable water for public use, representing more than 90 percent of the supply on the coast and 70 percent countrywide. Therefore, Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) recognises the need to sustain its groundwater source so as to ensure a continuous supply to citizens.

In Guyana, Groundwater is extracted using wells, and the well logging exercise was executed in order to gather information on the coastal acquifer in Guyana, such as the various strata of soil, sand and rock between earth’s surface and the aquifer system

The logging was carried out in collaboration with Deltares, an applied research institute in water and subsurface environment and the Inter-American Development Bank under the Water Supply and Sanitation Infrastructure Improvement Program (WSSIIP).

At a recent workshop on the outcome of the Geophysical well logging survey, GWI’s Manager of Water Resources and Climate Adaptation Mr. Orin Browne explained that coupled with previously existing data, the data gathered from the exercise was analysed and interpreted and is being inputted into a database which will serve to build a physical model of the aquifer system. 

“The idea of building the model is to enable us to have a tool for predicting our groundwater abstraction and use because we realise that for Guyana’s future and the growth of future generations, there must be an integrated approach towards groundwater management and for the overall water resources management,” he said.

In addition to the logging exercise, eight (8) of GWI’s Engineers were also trained in modern well- logging techniques, analysis and data visualizations, which will be a crucial factor in GWI’s in-house well drilling capacity with the acquisition of a new drilling rig.

When completed, the database will be made available to relevant agencies such as the Ministry of Agriculture’s Hydrometeorological service, Office of Climate Change, Ministry of Communities, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, Environmental Protection Agency and Banks DIH Limited.

Acting Chief Hydromet Officer, Dr. Garvin Cummings who was in attendance at the workshop, welcomed the initiative, since his office is mandated to license well drillers.

“All wells being drilled across the country should be guided by Hydromet. Obviously this kind of information has not been available before, so once available to Hydromet, it will guide us in terms of the licensing of wells and well owners and well drillers. So it’s really critical to what we do, it is a guide to what we do in terms of where wells should be drilled and hopefully this can grow into helping us determine the abstraction rates for wells,” he stated.

Senior Environmental Officer at the Environmental Protection Agency, Mrs. Felicia Adams-Kellman explained that the agency is responsible for ensuring that any developmental activities are done in a manner that will not affect the environment.

“So, having the information on groundwater would allow us to basically make informed decisions as to which projects can go in which area and how we can put safeguards in place for these projects so that they would not impact groundwater quality. Having access to the data is very important to the agency and we applaud GWI on this initiative that is being taken to have the data available for public use,” she noted

Mechanical Engineer at Banks DIH Limited, Mr. Alester Cameron pointed out that one of the company’s main resources is water and they are mandated to manage their water resource by several of their franchise owners for sustainability of the business.

“We’re also managing the water quality as well so this point this information is very useful to us because it will help us to further our research and manageability of our water resource and we thank GWI for inviting us to this forum,” he said.

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