The Regional Coordinator of the Global Water Partnership- Caribbean (GWP-C), Ms. Simone Lewis, shared with the University of Guyana (UG) a request for proposals from universities and community colleges in the Caribbean to provide training in one or more of specific areas. In response to this request, a proposal was submitted on behalf of the UG by Ms. Denise Simmons, Lecturer, FEES with assistance from Dr. Dawn Fox, Lecturer, Faculty of Natural Sciences through the Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Engagement (DVC, AE). The proposal was to provide training in Water Quality Monitoring at the UG, Turkeyen Campus to Guyanese citizens.
The University was subsequently informed that the UG was one of the institutions that was selected to participate in the “2019 OAS-Government of Chile Scholarship and Training Project for CARICOM Countries”. Through this Project the University received funds to implement an Introductory Water Quality Monitoring course over the period August 13 – 16, 2019. The UG also contributed in-kind assistance towards the offering of the course. The learning outcomes of the course were upon successful completion of the course, participants should be able to:
- describe different water pollutant groups and selected water quality parameters;
- describe how to collect surface and ground water samples;
- collect surface water and tap water samples, observing the necessary protocols;
- use field equipment to measure selected water quality parameters; and
- apply basic statistical techniques for water quality data evaluation.
The 4-day course provided an introduction to water quality monitoring and it covered topics on water quality concepts, and water quality sampling and analysis, and practical/hands-on exposure to sample collection and field-based measurement of selected water quality parameters. On the first day of the training, lectures which aimed at establishing the fundamentals of water quality analysis were delivered. Day 2 consisted of lectures on water quality analysis, collection of water samples and field-based analysis. The third day involved a field exercise to the East Demerara Water Conservancy to demonstrate and collect water samples. Additionally, selected water quality parameters were also measured in the field.
Participants and facilitators of the Water Quality Monitoring training
Dr. Dawn Fox, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Natural Sciences, UG facilitating a training session
Participant sharing the group’s response to a small working group exercise
The course concluded with an introduction to data handling and reporting. The training was an interactive one which required the participants to deliver oral presentations on their current involvement in water quality monitoring on the first day. On the last day, the participants were also required to make oral presentations on the analysis of the data that they obtained from the field exercise.
Twenty five individuals from all of the ten administrative regions of Guyana were selected and participated in the training. The selected applicants are employed by or work with the following entities: the Ministry of Natural Resources; the Ministry of Agriculture; the Guyana Sugar Corporation Limited; Regional Environmental Health Departments; the Ministry of Education; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission; the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development; and an indigenous peoples’ non governmental organisation (NGO).
The training was delivered by Dr. Dawn Fox, Senior Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Ms. Denise Simmons, Lecturer II, Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences. In order to receive a Certificate of Achievement, the participants were assessed based on their participation during the training, analysis of field data and a quiz. All participants acquired the pass rate (above 50%) to be awarded with the certificate. On the final day, the participants also completed an evaluation of the course.
Mr. Inniss, Engineer, NDIA Participant using a Secchi disc
Participants preparing to use a colorimeter to measure the concentration of phosphate in water sample
Field exercise to the East Demerara Water Conservancy