The Managing Director of the Guyana Water Incorporated today helped to bring clarity to a number of questions raised during the third and final hearing of the public hearing on GWI’s change of rates, on Wednesday, April 11, 2018.
At the public hearing hosted by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), Dr. Richard 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.
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 chemicals for treatment or filters and infrastructure.
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 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 for 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 reasoned.
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.
Upon conclusion of today’s hearing, Mr. Cave, a member of the public who has been present at all of the public hearings to date, expressed satisfaction in the responses and information provided by GWI to date and called on the PUC to fulfill the request of a change of rate.
The general public and the Consumers Affairs now have until April 30, 2018 at 15:30hrs (3:30pm) to submit recommendations for the proposal of change of rates to the PUC.