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NWC breaks new ground in water monitoring technology

Monday, January 22, 2018

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ST ANDREW, Jamaica — The National Water Commission (NWC) says it is breaking new ground in water testing on the island with the implementation of a major three-year water resources assessment and sustainability project in Kingston & St Andrew (KSA) in collaboration with the United Nation's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

In a release today, the NWC said the project – An Assessment of the Kingston Hydrologic Basin – is aimed at strengthening the water management institutional capacity, provision of specialised equipment, training in enhanced water quality management, use of state-of-the-art nuclear technologies to assess the state of the Kingston Hydrologic Basin, and facilitate and inform the development of strategic and mitigating plans for protecting the water supply sources in the basin.

The NWC added that under the IAEA funded project it has invited the involvement of other key water sector players including the Water Resources Authority (WRA), National Environment Planning Agency (NEPA), the Ministry of Health, National Irrigation Commission (NIC), International Centre for Environmental and Nuclear Sciences (ICENS) and academic institutions such as the University of the West Indies.

“Training and capacity building in isotope hydrology, water chemistry, radio-chemistry and the development of the various types of water quality and hydrogeology maps for use in water resource assessment, allocation and protection will be undertaken,” NWC said.

The release added that the Technical Co-operation Project also involves participants using nuclear technology (stable isotopes) to develop maps that show the characteristics of the water including flow paths, directions and levels of contamination within the Kingston Hydrologic Basin.

According to NWC President Mark Barnett, “the Assessment of the Kingston Hydrologic Basin Project between the NWC and the IAEA is not only significant because of the new ground it breaks in the use of nuclear technologies to study and protect the country's water resources, but also because it is a further demonstration of NWC's unrelenting commitment to the highest standards of water quality monitoring and sustainable water resource utilisation so as to ensure that the best quality water is available to Jamaicans now and into the future.”




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