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Oct 2, 2019

Minister of Environment Says Funds for New River Tests Have Been Identified

On Tuesday, the Minister of Environment Omar Figueroa told the media that they have identified the funds to be used to conduct tests in the New River.  Figueroa says that for the first time serious analysis will be done to get to the bottom of the problem.  The assessments, according to Figueroa, will go towards the long term management of the river.  Here’s an update on the works being done to remedy issues being experienced in northern communities as a result of the pollution of the New River.


Omar Figueroa

Omar Figueroa, Minister of State, Environment

“I think now that the rains have started you will see the problem start to go away little by little. We are actually looking at gaining some resources that will be used to conduct two important studies that we have identified; one is the sediment analysis along the entire river bed. This is a very expensive undertaking and the other is a full scale bathymetric study. We are looking to use Lidar as an option. I think the cost that we are looking at is two hundred and fifty U.S. dollars per kilometer and for a river that extends one hundred and twenty five kilometers is not a little bit of money. But I think we have identified some potential sources of funding. I think we are pretty ok and we are looking at getting this started pretty soon. Once we have those in place it will really come a long way in setting up the long term strategic management of the entire New River.  The lands department has actually started the analysis to look at the land tenure along the entire river, the entire watershed. One of the first things that we will do in the immediate future is to start to reclaim the sixty-six foot barrier.  Because, as you know, that buffer, that riparian habitat plays a key role in trapping the nutrients that come down. Now, as the rain starts a lot of those nutrients will start flowing into the river and settle on the bottom and it will just become like a little time bomb for the future. So, we are looking at this thing comprehensively; we are looking at it systematically and I am very confident that we will be able to tackle this problem and get a hold of it for the long term.”

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