Some 58 percent of the water pumped by Cuba’s aqueducts is lost due to the distribution network’s poor condition, Vice President Ramiro Valdes said in an address to the National Assembly.
“Throwing water out costs us $500 million annually because we use electricity to pump it,” Valdes, who also holds the post of computing and communications minister, said.
Valdes and Basic Industry Minister Yadira Garcia, as well as other officials, told legislators it would be necessary to bolster measures to save energy, the official Prensa Latina news agency reported.
The assembly’s 12 sectorial committees began preparatory meetings Wednesday for this year’s second plenary session, which will take place in Havana on Sunday.
The official announcement of the plenary meeting did not provide an agenda or note a theme, but the sessions usually feature an address by the island’s president, Gen. Raul Castro, with this meeting coming at the end of a year marked by a deep recession that reduced Cuba’s foreign trade by 36 percent.
Castro has ordered, among other measures to deal with the recession, budget cuts, delays in debt payments, the retention of foreign exchange from foreign businesses, drastic cuts in energy consumption and a reduction in the subsidized foods provided to the people.