Rob Sequin | Havana Journal
FOCUS Information Agency is reporting that the greater Havana area, with 2.2 million people, is experiencing the worst shortage of drinking water in fifty years due to a deteriorating aqueduct infrastructure and a two year long drought.
A statement published in the official daily Granma by the country’s Hydraulic Resources Institute said the current water distribution system was functioning poorly.
“On the path from the source to the consumer, about 70 percent of the water is lost,” the statement said, calling for urgent conservation measures.
Apparently about two-thirds of the 1,370 miles of water pipes in the greater Havana area were in poor condition. About fifty miles of pipe had been replaced in 2010.
At the same time, the region’s aquifers were being drawn down more rapidly than they could be replenished, officials said.
The situation could lead to more rationing and perhaps even water shutoffs. Around 110,000 residents have no running water and get their water delivered to their area by tanker trucks.
Cuba regularly suffers from drought conditions. In 2004, Granma reported that Cuba was suffering from its worst drought in 100 years.
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It is not clear yet how the US Embargo is to blame for this but one could expect Fidel Castro to make a statement soon.