• The San Juan Daily Star

PRASA said working to replace all meters to stem water loss

Sen. Elizabeth Rosa Vélez

By John McPhaul

Sen. Elizabeth Rosa Vélez, who chairs the Innovation, Telecommunications, Urban Planning and Infrastructure Committee in the upper chamber, held a public hearing Monday on Senate Joint Resolution 196, which orders the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) to carry out all the formalities and pertinent procedures to identify and request funds necessary to install remote water metering systems, both at production points, as well as at key points of the distribution network and delivery to customers.

“Puerto Rico has good and very generous water resources. We always have a large amount of water,” Rosa Vélez said. “We also have an extensive and complex aqueduct and sewer system. Public water systems serve approximately 96% of Puerto Rico’s 3.3 million residents. … Approximately 59% of treated water ends up as lost water or no income. Among the reasons for this is the lack of elements for exact measurements. Puerto Rico has less water availability than all the countries located in the Greater Antilles, except for Haiti, according to UNESCO.”

During its presentation, PRASA noted that to address a lack of funds, it requested the necessary funds under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Accelerated Obligation Strategy for investment in the replacement of meters and the implementation of a remote reading system.

As part of this request, PRASA intends to replace all meters, for which close to $300 million has been identified under the aforementioned program.

Regarding the measurement of the drinking water that is produced, “PRASA has included in the Fiscal Plan an annual investment for the production points and meters, which enables the replacement and/or installation of meters in order to measure 94.5% of the island’s total production for fiscal year 2025,” said Arnaldo Colón Maldonado, executive adviser of the agency.

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