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Water rationing expected in western Puerto Rico next week

By on March 2, 2018

SAN JUAN — The executive director of the Puerto Rico Aqueduct & Sewer Authority (Prasa), Elí Díaz, confirmed information about a rationing plan that would affect five western municipalities on the island.

Díaz assured he is working in coordination with the towns, the Electric Power Authority (Prepa), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) concerning the low levels of the Guajataca dam. The decision will be revealed next week.

“Any plan that includes low pressure or service interruption will be informed beforehand,”  the Prasa official tweeted.

Since Feb. 21, Díaz had anticipated the possibility of water rationing in March due to the work performed in Gauajataca. Back then, the official said that for some months USACE had been controlling the dam’s levels to be able to make needed improvements and ensure its stability.

Therefore, and anticipating that the dam will be operating with lower levels than normal, operational adjustments have been made to extract as little as possible without affecting customers.

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Likewise, he said an agreement with the Department of Natural & Environmental Resources (DRNA) was recently reached to lower the approved level of extraction by an additional meter, as long as the dam maintains adequate oxygen levels.

“Due to that extraction levelincrease, we are working with the mayors of all towns that could be affected to design an operational adjustment plan, in case we don’t see increased precipitation in the dam area,” Díaz explained last month.

Once a plan is ready and accepted by the parties involved—towns, Prepa, DRNA and USACE—“we will be informing the community and the media,” he added.

Preliminarily, the rationing plan could impact Aguada, Isabela, Aguadilla, Rincón and Moca.

“Were current precipitation levels to continue, any major operational adjustment, which could include low pressure and service interruptions, would take place during or after the first week of March,” he said.

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