HAVANA – The Cuban capital is facing its worst water shortage in the last 50 years due to the effects of the drought and the progressive deterioration of the fresh water supply network, Communist Party daily Granma said Tuesday.
More than a million people are being affected by the situation, which could become "more aggravated" if the hoped-for rains do not come in May and June, the paper said.
With a deficit of 519,307 cubic meters per day, somewhat more than 100,000 Havana residents are only receiving their water from cistern trucks, a situation that imposes an "elevated cost" on the depressed national economy, the paper said.
The situation originated with the drought and the scarcity of rain, but it worsened due to the deterioration in the water supply network: about 70 percent of Havana's 3,158 kilometers (1,958 miles) of pipelines are in poor shape and allow part of the water pumped to the city from nearby reservoirs to be lost.
Another negative factor is "the lack of a culture of water saving" and the fact that "the attitude of waste continues" despite the dire situation and the fines imposed on all wasteful public entities.
Among the "great wasters" of water, Granma pointed to entities such as the Marina Hemingway tourist center and the Havana convention center.
Granma noted that the Cuban government had allocated an investment amounting to "millions" - the precise sum was not specified in the article - for assorted projects designed to extend the functioning of depressed water sources and to improve water distribution. EFE