Local July 23, 2015 | 7:33 am

Dominican Republic’s worst drought in 15 years halts irrigation

Santo Domingo.- The extreme nationwide drought from amonths-long lack of rainfall have parched the rivers basins that feed the dams whoseconditions are so critical that authorities on Wednesday announced emergencymeasures, restricting the use of water for irrigation to ensure supplies to aqueducts.

In a meeting of the heads of the various agencies groupedin the National Water Observatory, dams and canals agency (INDRHI) director OlgoFernandez called the situation of the reservoirs cause for concern as water volumesare at the lowest of the past 15 years.

He said the dams at Jigüey and Valdesia that supply theaqueducts of Santo Domingo, San Cristóbal and Baní operate in criticalconditions, forcing the rationing of water for irrigation.

Santo Domingo Water Utility (CAASD) director AlejandroMontas said the country’s current deficit of 75 million gallon in domestic waterproduction –from the normal 400 million to 325 million gallons daily- makes itan emergency situation.

"The drought affecting the country is worrisome andthe water left in the dams should be used for human consumption," Montassaid.

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