December 2, 2023

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Water crisis in Uruguay: They drink salt water, there are no drums

Water crisis in Uruguay: They drink salt water, there are no drums

Within two hours the stock of drums in the stores is depleted and consumed Water Salt pouring out of the pipes are some of the sights to be enjoyed in and around the city of Montevideo. Water crisis An unprecedented journey UruguayThe country’s fresh water reserves have fallen by 1% and could worsen if there is no rain in the next week.

Uruguay’s capital suffers the worst Water crisis Records show that the Paso Severino dam (the main source of fresh water in the metropolitan area) is practically exhausted due to the drought, and it is feared that tap water will not be drinkable in the next 10 days.

To ensure delivery to households, the Water The Rio de la Plata from the Santa Lucia River is salted. People with high blood pressure, kidney problems and other risk conditions are advised not to consume the water due to high chloride and sodium content, which is higher than accepted by health experts.

“Live as long as you can. We must buy Water Drink and bathe in salt water at the supermarket. We are in crisis and we have to move forward,” he said tlam Alicia works as a waitress at a cafe on Avenida 18 de Julio.

Cans of water run out in a matter of hours.

On the streets of the center, people walking with drums is one of the recurring images, and the restriction of a maximum of two 6-liter bottles per person per purchase continues.

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The national government tried to lower the price of bottled water with tax cuts, so today a jerry can costs between 69 and 89 Uruguayan pesos, roughly $2.

At the supermarket chain El Clone, the drums run out within two hours. “We fill every day, we receive 200 drums a day, they are less than two hours. In the beginning, people came and stood in a lot of queues, we always try to keep stock, but it is difficult. That is why we have. The restriction of two drums per person “, this Martin Tomngeus, manager of one of the stores, pointed out.

The Passo Severino Dam is practically exhausted.

Pastor Richard, 55, commented that the tap water “is now undrinkable, it tastes salty, it used to be better”. Also, the water heats up and the washing machine wastes the dishwashing salt,” said the priest, who complained that citizens had to pay bills at the State Cleaning Services (OSE).

“We’re still paying for water we can’t drink, and we have to buy bottles too,” he asserted, adding that he takes “fry” showers and uses the same pot to boil noodles and eggs to save water.

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Susana, 75 years old and retired, sits in front of the Banco de Provision Social to relax and remembers that “nothing like this has ever happened” in her life. “It is a terrible drought. It will be very difficult to change this situation,” he said, adding that he gets two drums a week, which is not enough to drink and cook.

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Sonia Sanguinetti, a neighbor from Montevideo, agreed, “We don’t think we’re going to reach this extreme. Some of us can afford it, but the problem is people who don’t have the money to afford it.”

After declaring a water emergency in the Montevideo metropolitan area, where more than half of the population lives, the Uruguayan government last month announced the creation of a water emergency fund to “guarantee citizens all necessary resources.” Aid, however, has not reached the most disadvantaged areas.

Ignacio Lorenzo, a member of the special committee created by the water shortage and Montevideo’s cleanup director, said the city’s botanical garden had to be dug to extract water, which is currently under investigation. Find out if it is safe..

We have drilled 64 meters and found water, which is currently undergoing microbiological testing to determine whether it is potable and can be used beyond irrigation. for an hour.

The municipality of Montevideo had 200 residents with wells in their homes to provide water to other citizens.

“It’s an unprecedented situation, it’s not in our historical record. It’s unthinkable that salt water in taps is a risk to people’s health or that people have to buy bottled water,” Lorenzo said.

In the city, the fountains that adorn the capital have been turned off. “We want to send a signal that we need to take serious care with water. Don’t wash the car, don’t fill swimming pools or water gardens, human consumption is the priority,” clarified Lorenzo.

In the afternoon, the historic Cantombera Chapela Ramírez led the beating of drums and hollow drums at the OSE headquarters. “Drinking drum water is not a solution,” he sang, along with dozens of neighbors.

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