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Moving towards better potable water services

 

The Water Supply Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project is the first loan from the Water and Sanitation Sector for Suriname.  This project aims to improve efficiency and quality of the potable water services provided in the coastal area of Suriname. This will be specifically achieved by decreasing the level of nonrevenue water by developing and implementing a non-revenue water program; improving the water supply distribution system in priority districts of the coastal area through rehabilitation works; and strengthening the performance of NV Surinaamse Waterleiding Maatschappij (SWM) by improving operations and maintenance, incorporating a management information system, and decreasing energy consumption.

SWM is proactively working on decreasing their energy consumption. On the basis of recommendations of an energy audit, financed by the IDB, for one of their branches, SWM has improved their pumping stations operation methods. By managing their pumps differently, they decreased energy consumption by 0.5 MWh per year. In the remaining two years, they plan to replace the low-energy efficient pumps at 8 of their 14 pumping stations with new more efficient pumps. These measures should result in decreased energy consumption from 13,000 to 10,000 MWh per year. This improvement will result in a significant decrease in costs—US$180,000 per year for just one branch!

SWM is also working on improving the water quality provided to the consumer. UNESCO-IHE has trained the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Bureau of Public Health, and SWM on water quality management. The first part of the training was held in April 2014, and participants were taught the theory of water quality management. In the lab, participants experimented with new faster and more accurate techniques in analyzing the water quality. With the knowledge and experience acquired, SWM and the Bureau of Public Health are able to work more efficiently when analyzing water quality. The second part of the training, held in September 2014, taught participants how to put together and execute a water safety and monitoring plan. This will contribute to improving the quality of water that is delivered to clients.

 

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