Despite recent rains, the land is starving, as estimated by the downward trend of the water level in the Ariguanabo Basin, which is already a municipality of National Interest in the provinces of Artemisa and Mayabeque due to its importance for the water supply west of Havana.
Remigia Cunill Monterrey, Provincial Director of Hydraulic Exploitation, told ACN that the basin had a static level of 18.67 meters at the end of July, down 0.33 meters from the previous month and trending down further.
He pointed out that the month’s rainfall was just 106.5 millimeters (mm), a 58.5 percent drop from the historical average (rising to 182.1 mm), indicating a decrease in the amount of water pooled in the aquifer.
Meanwhile, the cumulative amount from January to July reached 315.8mm, up 39.1 percent, down from the historical average of 807.2 mm, he added.
However, the policy states that the available resource exceeds 92 million cubic meters of water, an amount equivalent to the annual needs of about 345,000 people in Havana, San Antonio de los Baos, Caimito, Bauta, Artemisa, and Bejucal in Mayabeque.
Cunill Monterrey stressed the need to tightly control water usage, avoiding overconsumption and leaks, in order to ensure the promised volumes until the end of the wet season’s recovery.
Maryoris Rubio Bonome, provincial hydraulic resources delegate, said the ban on using groundwater for rice and taro cultivation will be maintained due to high rates of consumption and the promotion of other short-cycle water resources such as corn, cassava, and squash, with less irrigation required in times of scarcity.
There are 52 productive units in the areas of the basin, consuming about 18 million cubic meters annually, as Artemisa is a predominantly agricultural province with extensive irrigated areas destined to feed the residents of Havana and the area itself.
Among the key actions, the delegate also noted the reduction of pumping hours from some sources and systematic monitoring to verify rational water use and detect possible water use violations.