Monday, March 27, 2023

The water crisis in the Dominican Republic

The author is a teacher in public administration and politics. He lives in Santo Domingo

In the last 30 years, according to studies, more than 350 rivers, streams, brooks, streams, streams, and wetlands have been discovered, their channels have disappeared or diminished, and all of their flows have been seen to decrease, placing the first river water aquifers. danger of extinction in every national territory. This comparison with the minimal demand of the 90s expensive liquid, today after 30 years, has increased exponentially due to the development of large urbanizations, condominiums, commercial and city centers.

Water shortages with irreversible consequences have long been seen as a result of the lack of use of the regions, due to the deforestation of the main hydrographic basins, resulting from the cutting of trees in the highest mountains to cultivate those properties. disturbed by forest fires, the extraction of tunnels from rivers, encroachment, human settlements and the lack of an effective government to control these causes.

Not only have between 600 and 650 rivers and streams in the Dominican Republic disappeared and turned into paths of stones and sand, but four of the 16 largest rivers have been contaminated, these are: La Isabela, Ozama, Higuamo and Río Haina. The other rivers Yaque del Norte, Yaque del Sur, Nizao, Yuna, Camú, Mao, Artibonito, Yabonico, Soco, Chacón, Yuma, Macasia, Guayubín and Maguaca flow much less.

The national water supply projected by INDRHI in 2010 from 2015 was 25,472.04 M3/year and the projected demand for the same period was 13,724.85 M3/year, however the national water demand is now 2,400 M3/year per capita, equivalent to (2,400 times 11.12 million inhabitants), = 26,688.13 M3 per year. Reflecting a deficit of 1,200 M3 per year if the same water capacity was maintained according to studies from 2010.

Others that we can mention are climate change and global warming that negatively impact rivers through the passage of natural phenomena, such as cyclones and hurricanes, such as Tropical Olga in December 2007; Hurricane George in 1998 with wind speeds of up to 250 km per hour, which caused damage of more than US$5.9 billion. Over the years they meet more often, as we have seen the whirlwinds: Fiona, Ian, Nicole, Lisa, Julia, Count and Humbert. Fiona, which occurred on 09/24/2022, brought great destruction and damage to homes and crops.

Some of the rivers that have disappeared or reduced their channels, which constitute ecological catastrophes, are;

The death of the River Yubas and the agony of Nigua in San Cristóbal. Tenguerengue, short river Pedro, Loro river and San Juan river (decreasing flows), Sanate in Higüey, cook in Las Matas de Farfán, Ocoa, deep Cañada, foul water, white river and long etc. It is sad that the Dominican Republic does not have an inventory that recognizes the location of rivers, streams and streams, nor does it have a water law. The Ministry of the Environment, in coordination with the mayors of the villages, municipalities and provinces, must do this work so important to the country.

This situation makes the water shortage that the country suffers from in the national environment more worrying, which could have a negative effect on the production of diseases and the decreasing quality of life of people. This crisis in the population of water is a challenge to the PRM government and the health and hygiene system, food production and the need to generate activities in the application of public policies related to the protection of water resources.

It is time to extract the gravel and sand suspended from the rivers; It is time to control emptying, to pollute the waste in lakes, rivers and seas, it is time to protect mountains and rivers, it is time to control forest fires, indiscriminate felling of trees, exploitation, use of fertile fields. to build houses and areas around rivers, streams and streams to prevent them from being invaded by waves of people (which contaminate the water and destroy their systems and biodiversity).

Water should be used for controls and its quality should be predictable. We urgently need to create more reservoirs because we produce little water that ends up in the oceans. And what we can most aspire to in this drought that is affecting the country is to urge the population to save water.


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