We go through our lives using water, electricity etc. and only recognizes these basic services when something goes wrong; like flushing the toilet and there is no water. However, when we hear of “invisible infrastructure” we think of technological advances in the field of information technology and all that derives from its use. I can’t tell you all that it entails, as it is not my field, but what amazes me is how easy it is for us to take these things for granted.
Having worked in the water and sanitation sector for both public and private entities, there is another “invisible infrastructure” that has been with us for ages, and it will probably stay so for some more until mankind figures out how to tele-transport water and sewerage. What is it? Pipes, valves, bents, meters, you name it, all that is needed to get your potable water at home and to get rid of the wastewater we generate in the most efficient way, and it is invisible to our eyes because a major part of it is underground.
We all use it (took a shower this morning? perhaps washed some dishes? brushed our teeth? used the toilet?), but we don’t talk about it, and it is not the talking, but do we appreciate how its existence improves our life? No clean water home? No way to get rid of our waste? Imagine the health and environmental chaos that would prevail! To avoid chaos, Governments and Water Utilities expend millions of dollars into network expansion and/or rehabilitation of water and waste water networks. It all seems like buried treasure!
In Guyana, the Government of Guyana recently concluded an IDB funded Project of US$12M (GY-L1025), a great part of this Loan, about 60%, went to the rehabilitation of the sewerage network ring main which serves about 50,000 persons in the capital city of Georgetown. With this investment GWI (the water supply operator in GY) could increase the amount of sewerage being pumped by 250 percent, which directly relates to the frequency of sewerage back-ups. While the current network needs further improvements, the benefits of the now “invisible” project, are indeed tangible.
So let’s #Thankthatpipe and keep the conversation moving about the invisible infrastructure that improve our lives.