Cuban Authorities Put Water Resources First

Havana, Feb 10.- The persistent lack of water in Cuba forces authorities to be permanently promoting plans to solve problems caused by drought, says a report published on this issue.

Authorities remind this Friday that since 2012 exists a National Water Policy with the objective of making an efficient use of the vital resource.

The program includes among its priorities the care of the hydraulic infrastructure, the elimination of residual spillages that put sanity of water supplies at risk as well as the quality of water.

Besides, they prepare to face climate extreme events associated to floods and severe drought.

Due to the prolonged drought over the last two and a half years, some 783 thousand inhabitants are partially affected and more than 54 thousand are totally affected.

Until this date, according to official data, 11 provinces of 15 in the country have their water reserves below 50 percent of their capacity.

The director of Rational UIse of Water at the National Institute of Water Resources (INRH in Spanish), Jose Antonio Hernandez, said the availability of water in Cuba, as an island, depends exclusively on rainfall.

Climate change in the Caribbean is expressed in less rainfall and all forecast models being made by different scientific institutions offer this panorama.

The expert said the studies include the INRH, the Institute of Meteorology and the Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment (CITMA) and show that rainfall in 2015 and 2016 are among the five lowest of the last 30 years.

According to the INRH, of the 168 Cuban municipalities, 34 are in moderate drought conditions, 52 in severe and 53 in extreme ones.

Of a total 244 pumping stations, 192 are partially affected and 52 totally affected. Provinces most affected are those of Ciego de Avila and the easternmost Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo.

The yearly volume of spillage of water is of 784 million cubic meters, about 45 percent of total pumped water.

He referred that is why, accorduing to the national policy in this area, they started millionaire investments in fundamental programs.

They aim to restore networks and conducting pipelines as well as the system of underground pipelines that supply water to homes, among a long list of tasks. (PL)

Radio Cadena Agramonte, February 10, 2017

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