Puerto Rico's months-long drought has led to the expansion of water rationing to several municipalities on the east end of the island, state-owned utility AAA said Monday.
The continuing drop in the level of river water has left no alternative but to launch a period of rationing Monday in the municipalities of Rio Grande, Luquillo and Loiza, the AAA said in a statement.
The director of the AAA's Eastern Region, Roberto Guzman, said the Espiritu Santo and Guzman Rivers have suffered a dramatic drop in their water levels, which makes a period of rationing inescapable if the drinking water needs of all communities are to be satisfied.
The official said that rationing will remain in force until the supply of river water is sufficient to meet the demands of all sectors without interruption.
Last Thursday the plan for monitoring and rationing the water supply kicked off in various sectors of the southern municipalities of Salinas, Santa Isabel and Coamo as a measure to conserve the reserves of the main aquifer in the region.
With that decision, the anti-drought plan, already in force in other parts of the Caribbean island, has been expanded to include the southern area.
At present more than a third of Puerto Rico's 3.7 million inhabitants are affected by a rationing plan that began in May and in some cases lasts 24 out of every 48 hours, and elsewhere for as long as two out of every three days.