Rainfall likely to increase next month
-- acting Chief Hydrologist
By Chamanlall Naipaul
Guyana Chronicle
May 16, 2003

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THE advent of the May/June rains is likely to yield enough water to facilitate the sowing of crops, particularly rice.

This view was expressed by acting Chief Hydrologist, Mr. Zainool Rahaman in an interview with the Chronicle.

He said the major water reservoirs which are still relatively dry will not respond to the increased rainfall until next month, but noted that the volume of rainfall predicted for this season should be sufficient to replenish the East Demerara Conservancy.

He added that according to forecasts based on prevailing information the intensity of rainfall would increase in June and July but showers would be intermittent and varying in intensity.

Rahaman explained that the present weather pattern is being influenced by the Inter-Tropical Climatic Zone (ITCZ) which is responsible for the intermittent showers being experienced.

He added that an El Nino phase is currently in existence, which is a deterrent of all water producing systems.

Meanwhile, Mayor of Georgetown, Mr. Hamilton Green has expressed dissatisfaction with the current state of the drainage system in the city in view of the apparent advent of the rainy season.

The City Council has cleaned the major canals, but it cannot keep pace with the growth of vegetation and the dumping of plastics which is a major problem facing the drainage system, he told the Chronicle.

The Mayor lamented the reckless practice of dumping plastic containers and other products "willy nilly" by citizens, which he said is creating serious problems for drainage pumps because these become entangled thereby disrupting the operations of the pumps.

Another major hindrance to the drainage in the city the Mayor identified is the blockage of the Cowan Street outfall by a wrecked boat.

He said efforts to locate the owner of the wrecked boat have so far been unsuccessful.

A critical situation also exists with the East Ruimveldt canal because of the presence of squatters on the reserve dam.

He explained that their presence is impeding excavation work on the canal, which if not cleared would lead to heavy flooding in the East Ruimveldt community.

However, he said tenders are out for the excavation of the canal and he held a meeting with the squatters to persuade them to remove voluntarily but so far they have not moved.

Green added that whether they move or not it is essential that the canal be cleared in view of the current weather pattern.

The Drought Assessment Committee appointed by Cabinet to monitor and report regularly on the situation as regards potable water and water being used for agricultural purposes, had reported a few weeks ago to Cabinet that the water levels in the major conservancies in Regions Two (Pomeroon/Supenaam), Three (West Demerara/Essequibo Islands), Four (Demerara/Mahaica), Five (Mahaica/Berbice) and Six (East Berbice/Corentyne) were extremely low because of the extensive dry season with low levels of rainfall.

Secretary to the Cabinet, Dr. Roger Luncheon had also said that due to the current state of water levels, it had been observed that on the 1coastal plain there was increasing intrusion of salt water up the riverways, in the savannahs and low levels of water in shallow wells.

However, he observed that so far the extensive dry season had had little adverse impact on crops and livestock and farmers had been acting judiciously by delaying planting.

The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) had also expressed concern about the low levels in the East Demerara Conservancy and had taken measures to rationalise the use of potable water.

It had also appealed to consumers to conserve on the use of water.

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