Saturday, January 23, 2016

More rainfall in Cuba does not mean drought is over

More rainfall in Cuba does not mean drought is over
Published January 22, 2016 EFE

The increase in rainfall recorded in Cuba this January, more than twice
the historic average for the month, has somewhat eased the impact of the
severe drought the country has suffered, but not enough to fill its
reservoirs, which are currently at 53 percent of capacity.

Despite the accumulation of more water in the nation's reservoirs, they
still do not measure up to the historic average for January, and at
present there are 48 municipalities in Cuba with rainfall deficits,
mostly in the eastern region, according to data of the National Water
Resources Institute, or INRH.

Dams that guarantee the water supply for the population remain at 57
percent of capacity, with just one of them completely dry, 11 less than
25 percent full and 36 below 50 percent, a trend toward accumulation
that "should counteract the continuing effects of last year's drought,"
the official daily Granma said.

The intense drought that Cuba suffered in 2015, the worst in the last
115 years, seriously affected the water supply in 130 municipalities on
the island, 43 or them severely.

Currently, there is a total of 235 sources of supply that are affected,
and which supply water to some 975,000 inhabitants, principally in the
eastern province of Santiago de Cuba, where water is still distributed
by tankers and construction is underway of a desalination plant to
supply the area.

The heavy rains that fell over the past few weeks, which experts say
could continue until April despite this being the dry season of the
year, are related to the El Niño weather phenomenon.

According to data provided by the Climate Center of the Meteorological
Institute, El Niño was largely responsible for making 2015 the warmest
year in Cuba since 1951, and for bringing much more rainfall than usual
in the period from November until now, chiefly in the western and
central parts of the country. EFE

Source: More rainfall in Cuba does not mean drought is over | Fox News
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