Study to utilise Hope Canal as sustainable water source begins

Government has commenced the feasibility study to determine whether the Hope Canal could be used as a sustainable potable water source to service the East Coast of Demerara.

This was revealed by Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal, M.P on Wednesday, during an inspection on the ongoing works of the water distribution system at Providence.

Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal, M.P and GWI’s Chief Executive Officer, Shaik Baksh at the inspection of the water distribution system at Providence, East Bank Demerara.

“Coincidentally, I have been invited on Friday [May 06], to a consultation with various stakeholders, with the consultant who is on board and who has already started the Hope Canal Study,” the minister told DPI.

The Hope Canal was built under the PPP/C Administration prior to 2015, to provide drainage from the East Demerara Water Conservancy (EDWC) into the Atlantic Ocean.

As the country is confronted with climate change, and the growing demands for potable water, particularly along the coast, the administration is exploring utilising surface water from the EDWC for domestic consumption.

Instantaneously, the administration plans to construct approximately 12 water treatment plants in areas identified across the country. This will add to the existing 27 water treatment plants.

So, we have started that work already and it has to start with the study and the study will guide us as to what we need to put up in terms of these plants,” Minister Croal explained.

To this end, the minister stated that the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) has established a department that will focus primarily on the execution of these projects. That department will work along with the consultant to do the designs for the treatment plants.

GWI’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Shaik Baksh explained that the preliminary designs for the treatment plants commenced three months ago, and by the end of this month, the tenders will be out to commence the construction of at least six of the treatment plants.

“So, we have these huge treatment plants apart from smaller systems, which will come onstream also another 10 smaller systems which will fill the gap so that we have complete coverage on the coastal belt,” Baksh said.

The government, through the GWI has crafted a five-year strategic plan that will see the expansion of coastal treated water coverage from 52 percent to 100 percent.

Since taking office in August 2020, government has invested more than $6.2 billion in the water sector. These investments are in keeping with the administration’s manifesto and its mandate to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number six- Access to water and sanitation for all.