Guyana’s hydromet services and the potential to generate revenue

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Guyana’s Hydrometeorological Department provides a range of services to the aviation industry, water, agriculture, engineering and other related agencies for the socio-economic development of the country. It is the official provider of weather, water and climate information and related products and services for Guyana.

Additionally, the department, which is attached to the Ministry of Agriculture, has the general responsibility to monitor and evaluate the weather and water resources in Guyana and to actively support the government in disaster risk management.

While the department has been doing an exceptional job in the provision of its services, it has been noted that it holds great potential for generating revenue which can be added to the national purse.

In fact, the Guyana Inc. Magazine understands that hydrometeorological data is provided to consumers at a minimal cost.

During the first half of 2017, it was noted that Seventy Five Thousand, Five Hundred and Seventy Dollars ($75,570.00)) was generated. The funds were paid directly to the Ministry of Agriculture Accounting Unit. While that is a notable contribution, the Hydromet Service is of the view that with greater effort, more money could be had for its services.

The Hydromet Service said that persons who are interested should invest more since the hydrometeorological data provided is critical for their company’s sustainability. For example, whenever engineering firms request extensions due to weather forecasting data they received from the department, they ultimately save on projects which value millions of dollars.

Since 2017 to now, the Department revealed that it would have provided approximately Fifteen Million, Nine Hundred and Eleven Thousand, Three Hundred and Thirty Dollars ($15,911,330) in meteorological data freely for developmental projects and irrigation projection. It noted that this alone speaks to the potential for the Service to generate revenue for the country.

 

DETAILING THE POTENTIAL

Guyana’s Hydrometeorological Service is often times called upon to play an active role in environmental predictions related to climate, the energy sector, floods and drought, to name a few. In addition to this, there has been a longstanding relationship between the aviation industry and meteorological service.

Aviation has benefited from significant investments by governments in international meteorological infrastructure, while advances in that infrastructure and in forecasting systems and techniques have been driven in part by the evolving requirements of aviation.

One example has been the fruitful co-operation between the airline industry and meteorological services in establishing programmes for making available automated reports from aircraft, which contribute significantly to enhancing the quality of the services provided to all users, including aviation. The Service is providing all the information freely to various stakeholders.

The objective of a Cost Recovery Framework in this context is to ensure that required services are delivered,

appropriate revenues are recovered, and that there is a fair distribution of such revenues to providers of both services and supporting infrastructure.

 

According to the Hydromet Office, there are various models of service delivery and cost recovery being used by many countries around the world. Generally, the most efficient way to recover costs from aviation has proven to be the designation of a single entity to recover all air navigation service charges on behalf of all service providers, including aeronautical meteorological services.

 

However, in instances where a single entity is designated to recover all air navigation service charges, experience in International Civil Aviation Organisation and World Meteorological Organisation has shown that it is essential that transparent and formal agreements are reached beforehand on the appropriate distribution of the revenues which are recovered to all air navigation service providers including meteorological services.

The Hydrometeorological Service is a department that demands academic scientific competence and experience, long working hours, etc. so that it can meet its mandate.

The Office told the Magazine, “We must also be aware that new equipment and its operation and maintenance, and the use of computers and improved telecommunications will result not only in changes to operational routines but also, at times, in changes to the structure and management of the Service itself.”

“However, the Service is currently guided by the Public Service procedures which do not adequately cater for the specialized needs of scientific based institutions like Hydromet, thus it is recommended that steps be taken to have this institution function semi-autonomously.”

It added, “The Service has immense potential to generate its own income especially in areas of aviation meteorology and ground water hydrology. Landing charges at the CJIA and 2% of all capital works that utilize Hydromet data/information should be paid to the treasury as revenue generated by the Hydromet Service. The possibility also exists for an increase in revenue from charges for licenses in drilling of wells, data, etc.”

The Hydromet office said that the efficiency and reliability of the hydrological and meteorological network was improved with the installation of the Doppler weather radar, satellite imagery reception stations and replacement/training of staff. These measures have enhanced the quality of products from the Hydrometeorological Service.

 

2018 Projections

Climate    change    is     expected to trigger more frequent and serious extreme events that will ultimately have adverse impacts on Guyana. Hence, in this regard efforts are ongoing to strengthen the Hydrometeorological Service to further improve the capabilities of this Department in daily, seasonal to inter-annual climate predication so as to guide Guyanese to cope with the threats posed by climate variability and change.

For 2018, the Hydromet Office proposes to do the following activities:Equip, staff and fully operationalize the Water Quality Laboratory.

  1. Fully staff and operationalize the Groundwater Section.
  2. Install a server system to manage the Service’s ICT infrastructure.
  3. Initiate training for at least three
  • weather forecasters and hydrological technicians (3) at the CIMH.
  1. Undertake specialized training in groundwater hydrology.
  2. Improve transportation facilities to accommodate an increase in field activities.
  3. Continue to maintain and expand meteorological and hydrological networks across the country.
  4. Strengthen climatological and hydrological database.
  5. Continue with primary and secondary Hydrometeorological data processing.
  6. Provide data/information request to public, engineering, agricultural, etc users.
  7. Continue to provide daily Public, Marine and Climatological Forecasts to stakeholders and the Guyanese public.
  8. Continue to provide meteorological information to various airline operators and pilots that are crucial to planning and execution of flight operations. Ensure that Guyana’s obligation to the International Civil Aviation Organization are met
  9. Participate in various Expos.
  10. Preparation for celebrating Agriculture Month Activities 2018 in order to increase public awareness on weather and climate information and its applications to improved management of natural disasters.
  11. The Hydrometeorological Service’s mandate is to monitor the quality and quantity of Guyana’s Water Resources. In order to strengthen the National Water Information System (NWIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPSs) are required to obtain the geographical coordinates of all stations. This will be done throughout 2018.
  12. In 2018, the Service is expecting an increase in Automatic Weather Stations. This will contribute tremendously to an anticipated increase in field activities.
  13. Continue to make available all the Automatic Weather Station Data Accessible via the internet allowing for the viewing of data ingested in almost real time from each station across the country.
  14. Continue to maintain and strengthen the National Water Information System (NWIS).
  15. Additional training  in  the  field of Information Technology for technical staff that are involved and attached to the Telecommunication and Maintenance Section. These staff members are expected to benefit from Computer Network and Repairs, System and Database Administration and Security. Also specialized training in maintenance and usage of the Megellan Satellite Receive System which will be enhanced forecasting capabilities.
  16. Continue the digitization of historical hydrometeorological data.

 

Article Categories:
Issue 30 · Money Talk

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