Havana, Sunday 21 de April de 2019 06:27 pm

Cuban region threatened with saltwater intrusion amidst severe drought

Tamaño letra:

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 5 (ACN) A severe drought caused by extended rainfall absence in the western Isle of Youth, to the south of Cuban mainland, is threatening with saltwater intrusion into exhausted aquifers.

Climate specialist Yamila Gongora told ACN that the impact by the southern oscillation oceanic phenomenon known as La Niña is evident in the lowering of rainfall levels below historic records.

The dry season runs from November to April and the second month of this year saw an 84 percent rainfall deficit, which had not occurred since 1917, the expert said.

This lack of rainfall or meteorological drought is causing a critical problem in aquifers in the special municipality the Isle of Youth, whose only source of water is the rain.

The president of the National Water Institute Ines Maria Chapman recently visited the isle and alerted local authorities about the need to activate a drought-assessing team since the exhaust of underwater sources could lead to a saltwater intrusion.

Such a phenomenon could turn irreversible as saltwater intrusion would run inland causing the salinization of underground freshwater sources.

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