Reservoirs Overflow While Farms Lack Water / Osmar Laffita Rojas
Posted on September 10, 2013
HAVANA, Cuba , September, www.cubanet.org – In Cuba there are 242
reservoirs, administered by the Institute of Hydraulic Resources (INRH).
Together, these reservoirs can accumulate 9 billion cubic meters of
water. Not to mention hundreds of small dams belonging to the Ministry
of Agriculture and Sugar (AZCUBA), which have the capacity to store 500
million cubic meters.
But of the total reservoirs, 106 are not used. Without having a
convincing explanation for why, the INRH has assigned resources to
undertake the required maintenance.
In these dams out of service today, serious problems have accumulated
over the years, leading to the paralyzing of the diverters, the master
channels, and the irrigation systems so needed for the crops.
The unjustified waste of water accumulated in reservoirs , throughout
the whole country, and its negative effect on agriculture, highlights
the fact that the Cuban government has to allocate 1.8 billion dollars
for food imports, most of which could be produced in Cuba without any
The underutilized reservoirs are located in the provinces of Pinar del
Rio, Artemisa, Cienfuegos, Villa Clara, Camagüey, Holguín, Las Tunas and
the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud. In these territories,
the use of reservoir water is down 75%. And in another 35 of these
reservoirs water use is down 25%. However, in the territories mentioned,
accumulate 566 million cubic meters of water with virtually no
destination. These provinces, until recently, were noted for their high
To the problem of under-utilization of the accumulated water in the
reservoirs, we must add 778 million cubic meters of water that could be
used for fish farming.
The other issue for which INRH has no solution in the offing, is the
leaks in the hundreds of miles of major canals and their connection and
distribution networks. Due to the deterioration of age and lack of
maintenance, millions of cubic meters of the precious liquid are lost
Cuba has no major rivers. Their courses, generally from north to south,
are short. The rainfall has become more erratic due to the greenhouse
effect. Therefore, the filling of reservoirs and groundwater in recent
years has not been as reliable as in the past.
The water problem in Cuba is potentially critical. According to the
index of the potential availability of water per capita, the country
ranks 105th out of 182 countries, with a range of consumption of 3,404
cubic meters of water per capita.
At present, the government talks a lot about the need to achieve food
security as collateral for the material welfare of the population, but
it is pure slogan and talk, without concrete results.
6 September 2013
Source: “Reservoirs Overflow While Farms Lack Water / Osmar Laffita
Rojas | Translating Cuba” –