Region 2 storing fresh water in light of potential El-Nino

Dawa pump station pumping freshwater from a tributary of the Pomeroon River into Tapakuma

─ pumps deployed to Somerset and Burks to pump fresh water from Dredge Creek

─ farmers welcome the proactive approach by the two government agencies

DPI, Guyana, Monday, January 21, 2019

Due to the current weather situation in the Pomeroon/Supenaam, Region Two the Regional Administration in collaboration with the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) have begun putting measures in place should the dry-spell continue.

Farmlands receive fresh water from the main storage lakes in the region and are irrigated through the many canals. The main storage lakes are Mashabo/Itribisi, Tapakuma, Capoey and Mainstay. In recent days it was observed that the water levels in these lakes have dropped significantly and to avert a possible catastrophe, fresh water is being pumped from a tributary of the Pomeroon River to replenish the central irrigation system.

During a period of El-Nino, the water from the Pomeroon River would normally become salted and useless to farmers hence the proactive approach by the administration and NDIA is most welcome to farmers.

According to Rameshwar Persaud who plants hundreds of acres of rice, the move by the two government agencies is very much welcome and satisfactory.

“Honestly I … was thinking of visiting the REO to register my concern but there is no need to now because the bodies have already seen the need to prepare for the worst and it is most welcoming. I know all farmers welcome the move,” said Rameshwar Persaud.

According to Regional Executive Officer (REO) Denis Jaikaran, the four Dawa pumps are fully operational, pushing water from the tributary of the Pomeroon River into the Tapakuma Lake.

“We have to be on top of our game and put proper measures in place to cater for the worst. The water levels in the lakes have dropped and the Pomeroon River still has fresh water so before it gets salted we have decided to pump into our storage facilities and will release to the irrigation canals at the appropriate time in collaboration with farmers. Right now, all four Dawa Pumps are working to pump the fresh water into the Tapakuma conservancy,” REO Jaikaran noted.

Additionally, Jaikaran said that at Somerset and Burks, pumps were deployed to pump fresh water from Dredge Creek which is also coming from the Pomeroon River into the Cross Canal at Somerset and Burks. The cross canal is also the main irrigation canal.

NDIA’s Senior Engineer for Region Two, Nanram Narine said, “We are monitoring the situation closely and appreciate the co-operation of the REO and his team. We will continue to pump fresh water into the storage places so that adequate amounts will be available. I will like to assure farmers that there is no need for concerns at this point in time because we are on top of the situation.”

Story and Images: Ganesh Mahipaul.

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