The Country Continues to Suffer from Drought
Havana, Cuba, Mar 15 (acn) A specialist of the National Water Resources Institute (INHR) said on Wednesday in Havana that of the country's 168 municipalities, 141 are affected by the persistent drought associated to the lack of available superficial and underground water.
Argelio Fernandez, from the INHR's Department of Hydrologic Service and Availability informed that by the end of February, 61 of these sites were declared with extreme drought while 50 are in a severe state and 30 were characterized as moderate.
He pointed out that 29 millimeters of rain were accumulated during that period, estimated as below the historic average for the second month of the year which normally receives 42.6 millimeters of rain.
According to Fernandez, the 242 reservoirs managed by the Water Resources Institute stores a little more than three thousand 700 million cubic meters of water up until now, representing 41 percent of its total capacity and still below the historic figures for this date.
He added that 21 of those reservoirs are dry and 78 accumulate less than 25 percent of its capacity mostly located in the center and eastern parts of the island.
In tone with the unfavorable predictions the specialists are informing a delay of the wet season in Cuba, experts foresees a worsening of the drought. The National Water Institute has called on the population and entities that consume large amounts of water in the need to save the precious liquid.
In recent statements, Ines Maria Chapman, President of the INRH affirmed that the construction of new water works and the continuation of others are part of the strategies to reduce the impact of the drought on the archipelago.
According to the specialist, other measures on a short and long-term basis are cistern trucks, the assembly of a desalinization plant in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba, perforation of wells and treatment of residual water.
There is also a campaign nationwide focused on eliminating water leaks and maintenance of the water infrastructure which include, reservoirs, pipes, water supply networks, aqueducts and sewer systems.
The National Water Policy, approved in 2012, is the center of the INHR's action plan focusing not only on eliminating water leaks but its rational and productive use, efficient management of the infrastructure, extreme climate phenomenon related with the resource and its quality.