• The San Juan Daily Star

PRASA urges water conservation as rationing begins in Río Grande

Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority Executive President Doriel Pagán Crespo urged islanders “to adopt practices that are aimed at conserving water.”

By The Star Staff

Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) Executive President Doriel Pagán Crespo called on all citizens Tuesday to make prudent use of water resources as the utility launched water rationing for the municipality of Río Grande.

PRASA Eastern Region Director Enrique Rosario Agosto said there is a considerable flow decrease in the El Verde and Espiritu Santo rivers in Río Grande, which supply raw water to the El Yunque filtration plant in the same municipality.

Therefore, PRASA said, it was necessary to initiate a plan of scheduled interruptions for clients in Río Grande, which will be experienced for a period of eight hours starting today at 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Thursday.

“We have an active plan for monitoring the raw water intakes that supply the filtration plants in our region,” Rosario Agosto said. “We check the levels of the dams daily to make internal adjustments that allow us to mitigate the dry conditions we are experiencing. In the case of the El Yunque plant, we have made several internal adjustments to the distribution network, seeking to delay the start of the implementation of scheduled interruptions. However, it is already necessary to start the interruptions; we will start them at night to lessen the impact on daily work routines among our subscribers.”

Given the period of low rainfall that the island is experiencing, Pagán Crespo said that “according to the most recent Drought Monitor report published on Thursday, June 2, 2022, 83.23% of the land on the island is affected by atypical dry conditions, and 17.89% of the land is enduring moderate drought.”

“We are closely observing the behavior of water supplies and hydrographic basins in order to implement strategies that help us minimize any future impact on our clients,” she said. “In the same way, we continue to focus on bringing the message of water conservation, both internally to PRASA, and to all Puerto Ricans.”

Due to the lack of rain to nourish the available water supplies, the following facilities remain under observation: Yunque Filtration Plant (PF) in Río Grande, Lares Urbano PF, Humacao PF (serves Las Piedras), Río Blanco in Naguabo, Jagual PF in San Lorenzo, Aibonito Urbano PF, Juncos PF, Cedro Arriba PF in Naranjito and Rucio PF in Peñuelas.

In addition to making internal adjustments to maximize the performance of water supplies in all its facilities, PRASA shared with the public the following measures for responsible use of water, which will help conserve such a valuable resource during the current period of low rainfall:

* Avoid washing vehicles, boats, motorboats, etc. with a hose or similar devices or where the water used for said purposes is not recirculated and recycled.

* Avoid watering plants, gardens, crops, cemeteries, golf courses, etc. with sprinklers, hoses and any other irrigation system from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

* Avoid filling swimming pools, fountains, ponds, hot tubs, etc.

* Avoid washing impervious surfaces with a hose or pressure equipment, such as plazas, sidewalks, canopies, parking areas, common areas of condominiums and inns, screens, windows, walls, ceilings, swimming pools, tiles, courts, etc., bottoms of swimming pools and other similar structures.

* Avoid the recreational use of water, such as games, slides, etc.

* Avoid providing maintenance to cisterns or tanks if it entails discarding more than 15% of the stored water without reusing it.

* Avoid having leaks or any defect in the plumbing system of facilities that produce loss of drinking water.

“We urge citizens to adopt practices that are aimed at conserving water,” Pagán Crespo said. “We also invite you to follow us through our acueductospr social networks where we share tips and important information daily on drinking water conservation and service.”

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