Cuba losing a quarter of its potable water to leaky pipes

Havana, June 4 (IANS/EFE) Cuba is losing 22 percent of the potable water distributed to homes due to the deterioration of domestic infrastructure, according to figures compiled by the National Hydraulic Resources Institute, or INRH.

The poor condition of pipes and leaks from elevated tanks and cisterns are the main causes of the water losses inside homes, INRH director Ines Maria Chapman said last week at a Cabinet meeting, official media reported Monday.

The Cuban government has decided to push for the marketing of these type of pipes “at (reasonable) prices” and with subsidies for people without economic resources.

Also, an investment plan will be undertaken to bolster the only industrial company in Cuba that makes this type of product.

That facility, built nearly 30 years ago, is showing “elevated deterioration and obsolescence” to the point that its production is only enough to satisfy 40 percent of the domestic demand.

Another problem, the INRH says, leading to increased wasting of water are the illegal acts and “lack of discipline” being committed in the water distribution networks.

Those infractions include the illegal installation of “boosters” (popularly known as “water thieves”) or the “hoarding and illicit sale” of bathroom fixtures and pipes.

Cuba, where rainfall is the major source of fresh water because there are no large rivers, has endured severe droughts in recent years.

–IANS/EFE

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