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Water surrounds Culebra, Puerto Rico, however there’s not sufficient to drink

Since I follow Puerto Rico news on a daily basis, I happened to see these tweets on July 14: “Culebra has been without drinking water service for four days, denounces its mayor.”

Then there was this: “Culebra residents have been without drinking water service for several days. Some have had to come to Isla Grande to get water by gallon since the cost has increased to $8 and up to $9 dollars.”

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I couldn’t find an upload of the television news report. Concerned, I went to find more info, googled, found nothing in English, searched in Spanish for “agua” (water), “Culebra” and found this news item which had a little more detail:

Here’s the google translation:

Residents of Culebra and some sectors of Vieques continue without potable water service since last Sunday, after registering a breakdown in a 12-inch diameter line, reported the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (AAA). In a press release, the director of the eastern region of the public corporation, Enrique Rosario Agosto, explained that “the repair of the fault registered in the 12-inch diameter line was attended to on Sunday and ended on Monday. We immediately proceeded to start the operation of the Arcadia pump station in Vieques and Clark in Culebra, however, there is a slow recovery in the distribution systems of both municipalities. In Vieques, the vast majority of sectors already have the service. However, in Culebra, we are facing an unusual situation at this time that does not allow water to reach the tank that distributes to the residents there ”.

Back in March, I wrote about ongoing protests around the life-threateningly unreliable ferry service to both islands, an issue which is still unresolved. Residents who are angry and frustrated have been reaching out on social media to the one “American” reporter who is known for covering Puerto Rico, ABC’s David Begnaud. 

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As of yesterday, this is the reported situation, “Culebra still without water service.”

Rough Google translation:

The Municipality of Culebra still has problems with the potable water service because the supply of the liquid, from Vieques, is not enough to satisfy the upper parts of the island municipality, announced today, Sunday, Mayor Edilberto Romero. Since last weekend, Culebra has been facing problems with the drinking water service due to a break in the tanks located on Isla Nena.”Here the problem with water has not been normalized – at any time – because we still have high areas without water,” said the mayor in a telephone interview with El Nuevo Día.

Romero explained that although the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (AAA) repaired the rupture last week, apparently, the water supply from Vieques was limited. He specified that, although Culebra needs 280 gallons of water per minute, only 80 gallons were being distributed to it.”This is less than the demand,” said the mayor.

The Culebra leader, Dolly Camarero, said that the upper parts of Culebra, Las Delicias, La Romana and the Clark community do not have water. Failures with the potable water system occur in the high tourism season of both Culebra and Vieques. Engineer Enrique Rosado Agosto, regional director of the AAA in the eastern region, told this media that the entire municipality of Culebra already had water, but when confronted with the sectors identified still without service, he said that “we are going to investigate.”However, he added that “the high consumption with the floating population” that is vacationing in Culebra represents a higher consumption than usual.“

Tourism is being encouraged by the Puerto Rican government, in spite of COVID-19, and Vieques and Culebra are prime destinations. What often gets overlooked are the people who call these two islands home. Home, without potable water, is hell. Even when the water situation is resolved, as pointed out by the tweeter Carlos, Vieques still has no hospital, and the ferry service still sucks.

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