GWI collects $5.3B in revenue for 2019; urges customers to pay bills on time

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The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) on Tuesday announced that it collected the highest amount of revenues since 2012.

Managing Director Dr Richard Van West Charles said this is significant improvement in revenue collection.

“The revenue collection moved from 2012 which was at $3B to 2019 which is at $5.3B, which the highest from 2012 to 2019,” the Managing Director said at a press conference at GWI’s head office in Georgetown.

He highlighted that the gross income also increased by 14.4% or $845.6M this year.
The Managing Director is urging that customers pay their bills when it’s due so as to avoid disconnection.

GWI’s Managing Director, Dr Richard Van West-Charles

There are over 30 matters relating to customers not paying their bills that are before the High Court. These are customers who would not have paid for over 90 days and owes GWI more than $50,000.

It was noted that they are $2.8B outstanding in late payments.

“We don’t like disconnecting. It is not something we enjoy; we would rather not disconnect and concentrate our time in the research and innovation to ensure better products.”

With its strategic five year plan which began in 2017, GWI has improved infrastructure, services and capacity to aid in the development and challenges that will come in 2020.

The Managing Director said this will continue next year.

“Guyana has achieved an improvement in our ranking in terms of the quality of the human development index, looking at the quality and standard of living but the input to all of this is the SDGs Goals in which the population using at least basic drinking water sources,” the Managing Director said.

Since 2015 GWI started a water quality programme and so far conducted over 80,000 tests.

According to the Managing Director they are seeing the results of the tests.

For 2019, GWI conducted 66,000 water quality tests across the country in all regions. This is to ensure that the water quality is in compliance with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Currently there is a 97% access to potable on the coastland, while the hinterland areas have achieved 85% access.

For 2019, GWI said 24,000 residents received potable water for the very first time and drilled 28 wells to supply water to residents.

Meanwhile, with the introduction of a new water treatment chemical, Polyaluminium Chloride (PAC) GWI says there will be a reduction in the cost by $20M with the current two chemicals being used, alum and lime.

Head of Water Quality, Dr Deon Anderson said, “…what it does is it removes colour and turbidity from the water. Here in Guyana most of our surface waters are dark in colour because of heavy organics presents, so this PAC just like the aluminum sulfate will be used to remove the colour and organics.”

Head of Water Qaulity, Dr Deon Anderson

Dr Anderson said this new product will not suppress the pH of the water as much as the current product and it will use far less concentration. He said based on the testing the product works by itself and customers will be getting superior quality of water.
Three water treatment plants at Sheet Anchor, Corentyne Berbice Diamond, East Bank Demerara and Uitvuglt, West Coast Demerara have been completed this year.

Going forward in 2019, GWI is hoping to fully introduce a new bill payment model via online platform.
GWI is also looking to implement electronic meters, which will provide immediate readings and can be disconnected remotely. It was noted that they are 2800 persons awaiting new connections.

By the end of January 2020, two new drilling rigs are expected and will bring efficiency to drilling wells.
The Managing Director explained that both rigs cost $300M and have been procured from neighbouring Brazil and comes with two trucks, pipelines and compressors.

One will be used on the coastland and the other in hinterland areas.

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