The Ministry of Agriculture’s Hydrometeorological Department is set to complete construction of a state of the art water quality lab come 2018.
The facility, which is currently 80% complete, will be used for the testing of both ground and surface waters. This venture is being undertaken in an effort to fulfil the Service’s mandate under the Water and Sewerage Act, 2002 to establish national monitoring systems for water resources, including systems for the collection of appropriate data and information necessary to assess the quality of the country’s water resources.
Chief Hydromet Officer (ag), Dr. Garvin Cummings indicated that the responsibility of the department goes beyond observing, archiving and understanding Guyana’s weather and climate.
“This department is mandated to provide meteorological, hydrological, and oceanographic services in support of Guyana’s national needs and international obligations.It is also the official provider of water information and related products and services for Guyana. This laboratory is a critical additional to the hydrological monitoring framework which currently exists within the Service. It adds to the existing resources that the Service has for the monitoring of water quantity and will now place the Service in a position to undertake its broader responsibilities under the Water and Sewerage Act for water resources management in Guyana. The laboratory will facilitate the testing of water samples gathered from both ground and surface water sources to ascertain their quality and to establish a database for baseline national water quality. Such a database would support and inform environmental protection, infrastructural development, agriculture, etc.” Dr. Cummings said.
The facility is being constructed at a cost of GY $30M and is expected to commence operations in the first quarter of 2018.
Hydrogeologist, Ms. Viviana Critchlow indicated that the facility was needed to ensure that the water being consumed by persons was safe.
“Given the fact that both ground and surface waters are sometimes exposed to pollution and contaminants, the facility is necessary to monitor the health of the hydrological environment. We know that persons would be using both ground and surface water for various purposes and as such the establishment of such a facility was seen as a necessary step for Hydromet.” Critchlow said.