Leakages, illegal connections huge bugbear for water management entities

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Leakages and illegal connections continue to challenge the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) and other water management entities in the Caribbean, resulting in the loss of revenues.

Solving this challenge will, however, be a prominent part of discussions at the 32nd Annual Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association Conference and Exhibition which will be held in Guyana in October, 2023.

GWI is the entity responsible for water management in Guyana.

But this entity loses significant revenue annually because more than half of the people who get water from the company have leaking pipes or illegal connections.

GWI deems that distribution non-revenue water, according to the body’s Director for project implementation Aubrey Roberts.

“Our non-revenue water…is about 60 percent.

“We believe that…we will be able to bring that down to about 45 percent,”  Roberts said on Friday.

This problem is one faced across the Caribbean and is among the topics to be discussed at this year’s conference.

Delivering the keynote address at the conference’s media launch held at the Marriott Hotel, Georgetown on Friday, Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal said the government believes the protection and management of water resources will safeguard water security.

Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal (first from left), Minister within the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development Anand Persaud (second from left), Chairman of GWI’s Board of Directors Ramesh Dookhoo (third from left) and CWWA President Marlon Daniels (right) at the media launch of the 32nd Annual Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association Conference and Exhibition. (Photo: DPI/ July 21, 2023)

And he said the conference will help governments tackle regional water woes.

“This is an opportunity for us to find solutions that are sustainable, fiscally-achievable and can be replicated on any scale to strengthen our capacities and forge new partnerships,” Croal said.

Some 500 regional and Caribbean delegates are expected to participate in the conference; 100 booths will be on display.

The conference will also allow representatives and students to present research papers on issues and solutions within the sector.

President of the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association, Marlon Daniels said for the first time, the conference will also include Finance Ministers so that stakeholders can adequately work out solutions.

“Without direct and focused intervention as a region, we will face devastating impacts on our way of life but the countries within the region are committed via action and result oriented intervention,” Daniels noted.

The conference will be held at the Marriott hotel in Georgetown from October 23 to 27 under the theme: ‘Accelerating change in the water, wastewater and solid waste sectors’.

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