Guyana needs a national water authority

Dear Editor,

The recurring incidences of overtopping along the sea and river defences, the recent reports of scarcity of irrigation water, and the historical approach of discharging excess fresh water into our rivers and the Atlantic Ocean prompted me to write this letter.

A brief review of water management/use in Guyana shows several major and independently controlling entities, namely,

•  National Drainage and Irrigation Authority/GuySuCo/Guyana Rice Board under the aegis of the Ministry of Agriculture.

•  Sea and River Defences/Transport and Harbours Department under the aegis of the Ministry of Works

•  Guyana Water Inc under the aegis of the Ministry of Housing

•  Fire Service under the aegis of the Ministry of Home Affairs

•  Regional administrations and municipalities under the aegis of the Ministry of Local Government

•  Mining/EPA under the aegis of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

Editor, the time has come for the establishment of a National Water Authority in Guyana which will be responsible for regulating, planning, and managing matters relating to water. Such an authority will serve as the umbrella under which most of the above-named entities will function. In planning for such an authority a precursor technical team comprising relevant engineers, hydrologists, meteorologists, surveyors, water economists, and attorneys should be commissioned to study and prepare comprehensive reports and plans for its future working. There is tremendous scope for the inclusion in the working of this technical team members of the business community, University of Guyana, and the Guyana Association of Professional Engineers.

Yours faithfully,
Abraham David

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