GWI wants to increase water rates

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The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) is moving to increase water rates across the board in the New Year in an effort to fund its maintenance cost and sustain the quality of its services.

Managing Director, Dr Richard Van West-Charles

Managing Director, Dr Richard Van West-Charles during a year-end press conference on Friday said the sum collected for water rates, which amounted to $3.6B so far for this year, is not enough for GWI to purchase more generators, pumps and other equipment needed to improve its services.

GWI has already received the approval of its Board of Directors to increase the rates and the water company will now seek the permission of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), to increase tariffs.

“Our service has improved significantly, the quality of water has improved significantly, and hence the timing is right for us to revisit the tariff,” the Managing Director told the media. However, he did not disclose the percentage increase that is being considered.

The PUC last approved a tariff increase for GWI in 2013, but that was not implemented.

It was pointed out that GWI receives an annual subvention from the Government but Dr. Van West-Charles pointed out that that sum goes towards paying the company’s electricity cost to the Guyana Power and Light Company.

“We are dependent on power supply and we are going to embarking and looking at alternative energy sources, for the supply of electricity.” In some instances, the Managing Director said mobile generators are sometimes used to bring relief to residents when the power fluctuates.

GWI’s push for alternative sources is linked to the provision of 24 hours of water supply. Currently, the company has a total of 24 treatment plants but only 35% of that amount can provide a continuous supply of water.

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