Puerto Rico Drought Leaves 140,000 Without Running Water
Puerto Rico's governor declared a state of emergency on Monday after a severe drought on the island left 140,000 people without access to running water, despite the necessary role that hand washing and hygiene plays in stopping the novel coronavirus, as The Independent reported.
The island will start water rationing on July 2, as 26 percent of the island is under a severe drought and 60 percent is under a moderate drought, according to U.S. Drought Monitor, as The Independent reported. According to Governor Wanda Vasquez, that means 21 of 78 municipalities are affected by the severe drought while another 29 are affected by the moderate drought.
The rationing will affect 140,000 clients of the water service, including some in the capital of San Juan, according to The Associated Press, as the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority starts to shut off water for certain blocks of the day.
That means some residents will be without water for 24 hours every other day as part of strict rationing measures. Puerto Rico's utilities company asked residents not to stockpile excessive amounts of water because it would exacerbate an already bad situation.
There will also be 23 water trucks spread across the most impacted parts of the island. Officials asked that anyone seeking water from the trucks wear a mask and adhere to social distancing guidelines, according to The Associated Press.
Some residents in the northeastern part of the state were already rationing water earlier in June.
Many residents rely on a system of reservoirs in Puerto Rico for water, but several have not been dredged for years, leaving sediment to collect and allowing the excess loss of water, according to The Hill. The water rationing efforts will target households connected to the Carraízo reservoir, one of 11 that Puerto Rico's government operates. It has not been dredged since the late 1990s.
Five other reservoirs are under a state of observation. Officials have already taken other measures, including activating water wells and transferring more than 30,000 clients from Carraízo to another reservoir, according to the AP.
"We're asking people to please use moderation," said Doriel Pagán, executive director of Puerto Rico's Water and Sewer Authority, adding that she could not say how long the rationing measures will last, as The Independent reported.
She told The Associated Press that the utility company is talking with FEMA about a $300 million dredging investment. But that project will not bring any short-term relief since the process is long and requires various studies for FEMA to approve the project.
According to The Associated Press, the upcoming water rationing efforts will target households connected to the Carraízo reservoir, one of 11 that Puerto Rico's government operates. Pagán said that reservoir was last dredged in the late 1990s. Five other reservoirs are under a state of observation. Officials have already taken other measures, including activating water wells and transferring more than 30,000 clients from Carraízo to another reservoir.
As the U.S. Drought Monitor map shows, much of the drought blankets the southern and eastern parts of the island, including San Juan and Ponce. The southern part of Puerto Rico was hit by a powerful 6.4 earthquake at the beginning of 2020.
The current drought in Puerto Rico came on quickly. In mid-May, no parts of the island, which is a U.S. territory, were under drought, though some spots were abnormally dry. Now, a long dry spell has left many parts of the island with four to eight inches less rain than normal over the past 30 days, according to The Weather Channel.
Residents in most areas will be prohibited from excessive use of water such as watering gardens during daylight hours, filling pools, and using a hose or non-recycled water to wash cars, as The Independent reported.
Some thunderstorms are expected for today and tomorrow. "However, we are not expecting enough rain ... to solve the problem we're seeing," said Fernanda Ramos, a meteorologist with the U.S. National Weather Service in San Juan, as The Independent reported.
- When the Government Failed Puerto Rico, Local Communities ... ›
- Latino Voters Worried About Climate Change Could Swing 2020 ... ›
- La Niña to Intensify U.S. Drought This Winter, NOAA Predicts - EcoWatch ›
As U.S. Election Nears, Polling Shows 82 Percent of Voters Support 100 Percent Clean Energy Transition
By Jessica Corbett
With an estimated 66 million ballots already cast and only a week to go until Election Day, new polling released Tuesday shows the vast majority of U.S. voters believe the nation should be prioritizing a transition to 100% clean energy and support legislation to decarbonize the economy over the next few decades.
<div id="5206f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="584d1641628f692ff103aee7ed74b45e"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1321080152328208384" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Biden should get "uncontrolled climate change would cost $486 trillion" tattooed on his forehead imo https://t.co/nTbVdHa9gD</div> — Emily Atkin (@Emily Atkin)<a href="https://twitter.com/emorwee/statuses/1321080152328208384">1603805027.0</a></blockquote></div>
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Arctic Ocean sediments are full of frozen gases known as hydrates, and scientists have long been concerned about what will happen when and if the climate crisis induces them to thaw. That is because one of them is methane, a greenhouse gas that has 80 times the warming impact of carbon dioxide over a 20 year period. In fact, the U.S. Geological Survey has listed Arctic hydrate destabilization as one of the four most serious triggers for even more rapid climate change.
Are you noticing your shirts becoming too tight fitting to wear? Have you been regularly visiting a gym, yet it seems like your effort is not enough? It's okay to get disappointed, but not to lose hope.
Typhoon Molave is expected to make landfall in Vietnam on Wednesday with 90 mph winds and heavy rainfall that could lead to flooding and landslides, according to the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City. To prepare for the powerful storm that already tore through the Philippines, Vietnam is making plans to evacuate nearly 1.3 million people along the central coast, as Reuters reported.
How does your burrito impact the environment? If you ordered it from Chipotle, there is now a way to find out.
- Food's Environmental Impact Varies Greatly Between Producers ... ›
- Panera Bread Becomes First Chain to Use Climate-Friendly Label ... ›