Ration hours reduced thanks to rain, but PRASA remains vigilant
By John McPhaul
The rain that fell over the weekend in the Carraízo basin led the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) to reduce the water rationing hours for the 140,000 customers who are supplied from that reservoir, PRASA Executive President Doriel Pagán Crespo said Monday.
“We increased from yesterday to today by 82 centimeters. That is very good,” Pagán Crespo said in a radio interview. “So today we have made the decision, after also consulting yesterday [Sunday] with the National Weather Service, to begin extended periods of [drinking water] service. It will be extended to 28 hours.”
Pagán Crespo said zone A will open at 9 a.m. on Monday and zone B will continue to receive water service until 1 p.m., instead of it being suspaended at 9 a.m.
Regarding when water rationing can be suspended altogether for Carraízo clients, the PRASA chief said they have to “validate the sustained behavior of the reservoir.”
“Right now runoff is still high,” Pagán Crespo said. “Tomorrow we will most likely see another increase in the level” of the reservoir.
Currently, some 140,000 PRASA clients who receive water drawn from the Carraízo reservoir are under a planned outage regime that began July 2.
The move was due to the drought that has affected Puerto Rico and has dropped below normal the level of the reservoirs and rivers that supply PRASA with water for purification and distribution.
The water level at Carraízo reservoir is expected to continue increasing thanks to runoff from several rivers that received a lot of rain from the weekend’s tropical wave.
Besides urging the prudent use of water, PRASA, as a preventive measure to manage the water shortage at Carraízo, began a period of scheduled interruptions for the sectors supplied by the reservoir, which supplies the largest population in the metropolitan area.
The original planned outage consisted of suspending service in 24-hour periods -- one day on and another off -- starting at 9 a.m.
Clients were divided into two zones, A and B, with alternating periods of suspension and restoration of service every 24 hours. The areas affected in the first phase were some parts of San Juan, Trujillo Alto, Canóvanas and Carolina.