The executive director of the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (AAA), Doriel Pagán Crespo, warned today, Saturday, that the public corporation could establish “aggressive adjustments” in the drinking water service as soon as next week in reservoirs like Carraízo and Guajataca due to the decrease in its water levels.
The official established that since April a decrease in the amount of rain that falls on the island has been reported in parallel with an overwhelming increase in the consumption of the service, so that the decrease in water in the reservoirs shot up considerably.
“Since April it is dry and we have not received the rains in May. However, we have been making internal operational adjustments for what is Guajataca and Carraízo for weeks because of their current levels, behaviors and weather conditions that do not help us.”, Acknowledged Pagán Crespo in an interview with El Nuevo Día.
The public corporation reported today that Carraízo is at a security level with 39.71 meters of water. However, once it reaches 39.70 meters it enters the observation level.
In worse condition is the Guajataca reservoir with 189.33 meters under the category of operational adjustments.
Guajataca, located between Quebradillas, Isabela and San Sebastián, suffered serious damage after the passage of Hurricane María, in September 2017.
“Consumption is a factor that this season is very high and together with this event of lack of rain in April and May they are making it difficult for us to maintain stable levels. They are descending. The reality is that you might think that at this moment in time we could report a decrease, but on the contrary there has been an increase due to residential consumption”Said Pagán Crespo.
The civil employee alluded to that the citizens could be buying swimming pools to install their houses and the use of the water of the home to fill them affects in which the levels of the reservoirs lower. Likewise, he pointed out that he recognizes that water is used as a sanitary method to handle the emergency of COVID-19, so this also contributes to the loss of the product.
With this scenario, the official advanced to The new day that the operational adjustments would become “aggressive” without necessarily having to affect the service of the subscribers.
“With operational adjustments I want to tell you that they are changes we make to supply water. In Guajataca we changed to Añasco and now supplies the Rincón area, and wells have been activated in the Punta neighborhood in Rincón and in San Juan some have also been implanted to manage Carraízo, ”explained the engineer.
“We do not want to interrupt the service, much less at this time of the virus. We are doing everything necessary to prevent it, but we need help. We are connected with the SNM (National Meteorological Service), because we depend on the forecasts to make the adjustments and what they tell us is that there is no rain for the next few days, ”he said.
So far, he said, water rationing is not being considered for the next few days, “but we do not rule it out.”
The United States Drought Monitor reported this week that 23.84% of the island is under a pattern of atypically dry conditions, comprising about 20 towns in the southern zone.
“There (in the south) we have the Toa Vaca, Cerrillos reservoirs and in addition to the wells and filtration plants, but at least Toa Vaca is in better condition. Last year it was at 146.43, and now it is 148.43, so we are a little better than last year, “said Pagán Crespo.
Meteorology explained to this media that for the next few days it is not expected that there will be a significant rain episode, but that the dry and stable weather would last until the end of May.
Statistics from the meteorological agency suggest that from April to today the rainfall deficit reached five to six inches of water in various parts of the island.
“We are pending the status of the reservoirs and we are taking measures, but I insist that we need people to take the situation into account and make prudent use of water,” said Pagán Crespo.