The Mahaica, Mahaicony, Abary-Agricultural Development Authority (MMA-ADA) today advised farmers that the water level in the Abary Conservancy is “dangerously low”.
In a notice in today’s Guyana Chronicle, the MMA said that the water level was currently 58.42 GD (Georgetown Datum) whereas dead storage is 59.5 GD.
It said that all persons in the Abary/Berbice block of the MMA area must take immediate steps to conserve and prevent wastage of irrigation water.
The notice said that they must ensure that regulators on the secondary irrigation canals are blocked, that all field drainage outlets are blocked, conserve on field/crop use and report any tampering with any structure to the authorities.
Farmers in the Mahaica and Mahaicony are to: regulate their pumping activities, avoid tampering or damaging any infrastructure and to conserve on crop use.
Farmers were warned that failure to comply could lead to prosecution and imprisonment under Section 34 of the MMA Act.
The water shortage in the Abary conservancy underlines the major problem Guyana faces regulating drainage and irrigation. The water shortage is occurring just at the end of what was supposed to be one of Guyana’s rainy periods. Amid all of this, the major government intervention was to build the Hope Canal on the east Coast to drain excess water from the East Demerara Water Conservancy. That long-delayed project is still to be commissioned.
Hydrologists and experts have warned that the government has not sought an overarching solution to the drainage and irrigation problems of the Mahaica, Mahaicony and Abary areas.