More Than 400,000 Havanans Affected by Break in Water Supply

The neighbors line up their buckets and other containers waiting for water to be delivered by truck in Havana. (14ymedio)

14ymedio biggerSite manager’s note: a 28 May update has raised the number number to 852,000.

14ymedio, 27 May 2017 — More than 400,000 people have been affected by a break in the main water supply conduit in the Southern Basin of Havana. The structure collapsed Thursday night after a repair and while an attempt was being made to restore the pumping of water, according to an announcement from the Havana Water Company.

A report on TV’s Havana Channel detailed that the failure caused a “total disruption” of the water supply for the Havana municipalities of Plaza of the Revolution Cerro, 10 October, Old Havana, Central Havana and some areas near Boyeros.

Engineer Javier Toledo, the Provincial Delegate for Hydraulic Resources, told local television that in the afternoon of Friday a team was “in the specific place where the external rupture occurred.” The specialist said that the works are in “an advanced stage” and should be concluded between “eight and nine o’clock at night” on Friday.

Toledo acknowledged that “a more exhaustive diagnosis has been made” of the affected area and it has confirmed that “the damage is of a magnitude a little greater” than expected. He added that the brigade doing the work found “affected locations” in several areas.

The engineer also noted that after the “immediate solution” is applied, new breaks could be expected.

A more exhaustive diagnosis confirmed that “the damage is of a magnitude a little greater” than expected

An on-site technical evaluation anticipates the possibility that a “larger pipe section” could be involved which could lead to the replacement of the structure. He said that would take “a little more time” but that “the alternatives to supply the city center by another system” are already designed.

The specialist clarified that this “alternative” would not be a total solution and would result in “partial affects” that might show themselves in limited hours or limited service.

In the Plaza of the Revolution municipality the consequences of the break are being felt. On Friday night, just like local residents, guests at the hotel on the corner of Conill and Boyeros had no water supply in their rooms.

According to official data, more than 50% of pumped water is lost due to deteriation of the network. Every year more than one billion cubic meters of water leaks out, an amount that is the equivalent of the Zaza dam, the nation’s largest.