GWI makes progress restoring water in La Parfaite Harmonie

— Saturday deadline in sight
— L’Oratoire water well fully up and running
— free water distribution for Recht Door Zee and Onderneeming until matter resolved

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) has begun to implement corrective measures to remedy a decrease in its production capacity to its wells in L’Oratoire, La Parfaite Harmonie and Westminster along the West Bank of Demerara. This situation occurred three weeks ago.

As of Thursday morning, the well in L’Oratoire has been fully restored and the utility company is working to address the situation in other communities.  The water shortage is suspected to be the result of incomplete works on a well built in 2010 under the previous administration.

[L-R] Director of Operations within GWI Dwayne Shako; Regional Manager within GWI for Region 3, Denise Woolford

Trucks are currently distributing water in Recht Door Zee and Onderneeming. “We have three different sets of tankers that will be going in starting 5pm this [Thursday] afternoon and they will be working around the clock,” said GWI’s Manager for Region 3, Denise Woolford. She maintained that the water being supplied is free of cost to residents and will be distributed continuously from 6am to 10pm on Friday to accommodate working individuals.

In an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), Director of Operations within GWI, Dwayne Shako, explained that GWI officials are working tirelessly to provide water to residents, however, it has been a challenge to complete the task. This is due to many remaining communities that are still affected. Nevertheless, the GWI team continues to work on the affected wells.

Concerning the Westminster well, the Operations Director said, “we are working as quickly as we can to get that well in operation by Saturday […] so that we can restore at least close to 40,000 gallons per hour.” Restoration of the well will ensure customers in Recht Door Zee and Onderneeming are supplied with reliable access to potable water.

Moreover, GWI will be tapping into its resources in other administrative regions to bring relief to the affected communities. In explaining the challenge at hand, Shako added, “these wells are very deep. They are around 600ft. So, to get to them, it takes a lot of time and it takes a lot of effort.”

When prompted on the reason for the water shortage in the wells following the recent conclusion of the rainy season, the GWI official said, “even if the rains, based on your precipitation and the water cycle, it takes a considerable period and in some cases many years for that rainfall that we would have experienced to really trickle down into the aquafers so that we can access it.”

According to the Operations Director, the water shortage of this magnitude is an unusual occurrence. GWI has the technology to detect water levels in its wells, but in this situation, the production shortage came as a surprise. Production loss is often attributed to the movement of particles within the wells that may reduce water availability. “From time to time there is a lot of sand and silt that builds up under there and sometimes this requires some amount of maintenance,” the director related.

The water production loss had seen approximately 39,000gallons and 40,000gallons depleted from L’Oratoire and Westminster, respectively. Restoration efforts are expected to be completed on Saturday.