Pilot Initiative for the Joint Development of a Programme of Action for the Minimization of Land-Based Sources of Pollution and a Water Safety Plan for the City of Linden, Guyana

Christopher Cox, PhD

 

The city of Linden, Guyana was selected as a pilot in an initiative to demonstrate implementation of a holistic approach aimed at addressing the key issues of watershed management and its linkage to drinking water quality.  The watershed management element of this pilot initiative was formulated within the Global Programme of Action (GPA) for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Sources (LBS) of Pollution, a global agreement committed to by governments worldwide to improve the health of coastal and marine waters.  Watersheds that drain the areas within and around Linden constituted the study area for development of a local-level National Plan of Action (NPA) to minimize pollution into the ambient environment, with emphasis on protection of source waters used for drinking water supply.  The water supply protection element was designed within the Water Safety Plan (WSP) framework as recommended under Chapter 4 of the World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality 3rd Edition (2004).  A WSP is a methodology developed by WHO to assist water utilities improve and maintain water quality consumers.  It provides a comprehensive risk assessment and risk management approach that includes all steps in the water supply chain; from catchment to consumer.