HAVANA – Some 45,000 residents of Havana are currently receiving their drinking water in cistern trucks due to the ongoing drought affecting Cuba, local media reported Sunday.
To illustrate the critical water supply situation in the Cuban capital, where more than two million people live, the state-run weekly Tribuna de La Habana reported Sunday that the five main reservoirs in the province “are only 21 percent full, that is to say, they are practically empty.”
At this time, the water shortage is almost 200,000 cubic meters (52.8 million gallons) per day. Some 45,000 people must currently rely on cistern trucks for their daily water supply and deliveries are now made only every four days rather than more frequently, as in the past, a situation that has come to affect up to 800,000 capital residents.
“The situation with the water supply in the capital is going from bad to worse,” said the Havana publication, emphasizing that the recent rainy period was “not encouraging” and the drought was not alleviated because of a “stubborn and sustained absence” of rain.
Havana is the province suffering the “most worrisome” water deficit in Cuba right now, according to experts with the National Hydraulic Resources Institute, or INRH, cited by the National Information Agency.
In contrast, this past Saturday, heavy downpours were registered in the western part of the island that caused light flooding in the neighboring provinces of Artemisa and Mayabeque, to the south, according to a report by the Meteorology Institute.
Local experts agree that among the signs pointing to a severe drought this year on the island is the fact that between January and March this year rainfall was down 70 percent on an island with no large rivers where the major source of fresh water comes from rain.