Local September 8, 2016 | 10:52 am

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Dire figures and warnings in water use conclave

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.- Some 400 agro leaders fromacross the country, together with local authorities and sector technicians discusswater use in the Dominican Republic.

The ministers of the Environment Francisco Dominguez, and ofthe Economy Isidoro Santana opened the 17th National Meeting of AgribusinessBoard (JAD) leaders, which will conclude tomorrow Friday with president DaniloMedina’s participation.

Dominguez said agriculture accounts for 72 percent of thewater used in the country, 18 percent in industry, and just 10 percent is households."The rise in water consumption in Dominican Republic as in other countriesis for irrigation, much of that water is wasted due to inefficient irrigationsystems."

Santana said the National Development Strategy 2030, stressesthe need for increased resources to invest in the water sector. “Water is avital and finite resource which must be paid, which makes it necessary toredefine collection policies and subsidies.”

For JAD executive director Osmar Benitez, the need to changethe irrigation system model is urgent, because he affirms just three percent ofthe productive areas are efficiently irrigated. "We had a drought thatlasted more than three years. This country had never seen a plantain cost 30pesos, but that was because of the lack of water."

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