GWI makes final plea for increase in rates

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Managing Director of the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI), Dr. Richard Van West- Charles today clarified a number of issues raised during the third and final session of the public hearing on GWI’s change of rates today by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

According to a GWI release, Dr Van West- Charles divulged plans that are on stream for the advancement of services offered by the utility.

This includes ensuring closer collaboration with the Ministry of Communities, Department of Housing to equip new schemes with an adequate water supply. He also indicated that as the customer base increases, GWI will be aiming for 100 percent metering, even as it works to overcome obstacles with procurement, the GWI release revealed.

GWI is proposing a change in rate for residential and non-residential (metered and unmetered) customers and a new category for pensioners.

Addressing concerns of the cost for water in areas with treatment plants, as against those without, the Managing Director stated that in both instances, monies are invested in either chemical for treatment or filters and infrastructure.

According to GWI, in Essequibo for example, large sums of money is being invested in the importation and implementation of a chemical called SeaQuest to reduce the presence of iron in the water. This is also being implemented at a number of other pumping stations across the country.

The Managing Director pointed out that the water provided by the utility is microbiologically safe and therefore the change of rates being requested will help to cushion the cost of improved water quality.

“When we look at the cost, that bottle of water in front of you on the market is $100GYD with a volume of 100ML, GWI’s cost for 220 gallons is $64GYD and many people will purchase that 100ML for $100.”, Dr. Van West-Charles was quoted as saying in the release.

He stressed that GWI needs to maintain its network to ensure a sustainable supply to customers and that requires finances.

“GWI is merely asking for $500 from each customer for the maintenance of its system and to assist in addressing leaks in a timely manner.  GWI’s goal is to guarantee a good product that is acceptable to all customers, thus ensuring them their money’s worth,” the release noted.

The general public and the Consumers Affairs now have until April 30, 2018, at 15:30hrs to submit recommendations for the proposal of change of rates to the PUC.

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