They fear difficulties in supplying drinking water to Uruguayan cities due to the drought
The state company that manages water is making a record investment and asked the population to take care of consumption
The biggest problem is in the rivers and rivers from where the water is extracted to make it drinkable, which came down and did not they have recharge. (State Sanitation Works)
The lack of rain is hindering the normal supply of waterin Uruguay, mainly in areas where it depends on small river beds. This does not happen in Montevideo for now, but it does in other cities such as Nueva Helvecia in Colonia and Aiguá in Maldonado.
The president of OSE, the Uruguayan public company that manages water, Raúl Montero, said in dialogue with Subrayado (Channel 10) that the drought is the same in all towns, but because some are located near important rivers the supply drinking water would not be a problem.
OSE's goal is to cover drinking water consumption for the months of January and February. The hierarch asked the population for peace of mind and stated that the interruptions of the service are due to specific failures.
It is recommended to avoid washing sidewalks and cars and filling swimming pools. (State Sanitary Works)
The biggest problem is in the rivers from where the water is extracted to make it drinkable, they came down and have no recharge, since there has been no rainfall. A particular case occurs in the Laguna del Cisne, which supplies Salinas to Parque del Plata, which does not have a source to supply itself. This occurs just 50 kilometers from Montevideo, the Uruguayan capital.
Peak consumption in spas
As for Maldonado, it is very close to 100,000 cubic meters per day (capacity for which the plant is designed), almost double the flow used in winter. All the teams are working to the maximum, although the president of OSE estimated that the highest peak was already exceeded during the first half of January.
This problem occurs in all seasons of summer, when the resorts of Maldonado and Punta del Este have peak consumption, and their demand cannot be met.
The government urges the population to make responsible use of water in order to preserve the resource. (State Sanitary Works)
According to the Uruguayan who chairs OSE, it is planned to carry out works in Maldonado. It is investmentIt does not have a date yet, but it is expected to be greater than the amount collected for the service.
In this sense, he confirmed that OSE's billing in Maldonado is more than of US$50 million per year. This billing, added the president of OSE, is equivalent to 14% of the total billed by OSE throughout the country.
Project seeking a solution
The government of Luis Lacalle Pou launched a public-private investment proposal, in order to have more water capacity to make it drinkable. This project would be installed in the Arazatí spa, located in the department of San José, some 92 km from Montevideo.
The installation of this treatment plant has been harshly criticized by the union of the Federation of Officials of OSE (Ffose). Since they consider that it is a privatization of an essential service, and they believe that the government should look for other ways.
The towns of Dolores, Nueva Helvecia, San José de Mayo, Aiguá and the Gold Coast are the most affected by the water deficit. (State Sanitary Works)
In addition, the union points out a reality that is seen in all Uruguayan cities, theloss of drinking water. This is not a new problem, and the works say that at today's numbers the state company loses half of the water it treats.
In dialogue with Universal Radio, the president of the public company that manages water in Uruguay, said that this project is key to counteracting the problems that the spas of Canelones and all the areas surrounding Montevideo are experiencing.
On the other hand, the trade unionist said that affirming this is “abstracting from reality”. And he explained that in fact water is being wasted due to leaks in its pipes that are obsolete.
According to the government, The project approved in November 2022 will allow the construction of a new water treatment plant in the department of San José to capture water from the Río de la Plata, with a pumping station and an 80-kilometre pipeline long to Montevideo.