HAVANA – Some 70,000 residents of the eastern Cuban province of Santiago de Cuba are currently receiving potable water shipments in tanker trucks due to the drought on the island, top officials with the National Water Resources Institute, or INRH, said, as cited by local media.
The rest of the public in the province are receiving reduced or delayed water service via the normal channels, as measures remain in place to deal with the intense and persistent drought that has affected almost a million people throughout the island for months.
Currently, INRH reports are that 260 water supply sources have been fully or partially affected around Cuba, but mainly in Santiago de Cuba.
Among the measures put in place to reduce water scarcity are bypass conduits and stringent leak control to ameliorate the problem of water wastage from the domestic and agricultural distribution networks.
Although Cuban weather authorities forecast that in May there should be “favorable” rainfall, water officials warn that it will still be necessary to ensure “rational” water usage and the “saving” of water.
On that subject, the head of the Weather Center within the Meteorology Institute, Antonio Guevara, said that expectations are that continued measures will remain in place during the upcoming rainy season from May through October.
Nevertheless, he emphasized that “sustained and sufficient” rainfall will be needed to reverse the problem of low water levels in Cuba’s reservoirs.
The latest reports released by the INRH say that the reservoirs are at about 47 percent capacity, below the historic average for this time of year.