Havana.— A new campaign to artificially increase rain in zones affected by the prolonged drought situation across the country will begin September 15, reported the National Institute of Water Resources (INRH) on August 27.
The initiative aims to stimulaterainfall over the Cauto River basin, in the east of the country to increase water levels and flow toward connected reservoirs, explained engineerYosmary Gil, director of the INRH’s Hydraulic Infrastructure department.
According to the specialist, the project will last two months while results will depend on the existence of adequate cloud conditions.
Argelio Fernández, hydraulic services and water availability expert at the INRH, noted that in regards to the rate of rainfall, the period from January, 2015, to date has been the driest since 1901, with an average 613 millimeters of rainfall recorded nationwide, lower than the figure registered during the same period in 2004, when the country suffered a similar situation.
August has seen Santiago de Cuba, Guan­­­­­tánamo, Artemisa, and Havana as the provinces worst affected by the drought, he stated.
Some 242 reservoirs managed by the INRH, have only reached, on average, 36% of their total capacity, while 25 are either dry or at the so-called “point of death.”
The INRH in collaboration with the National Civil Defense General Staff has taken measures to better respond to the drought, which could last until April 2016 according to forecasts.
Temporary task forces are working in provinces and affected areas, monitoring the quantity of water used by state and non-state consumers in their productive processes, among other actions.
Reducing water waste through repairs to the water distribution system and leaks, as well as reorganizing services in accordance with the particular situation in each territory, are also high priority tasks.
In addition to these urgent measures, media outlets will continue to provide the population with information regarding forecasts, the need to save water, and strengthening vigilance and control measures.