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Puerto Rico Begins Water Rationing Measures Amidst Drought-Like Conditions

SAN JUAN — Tens of thousands of people in Puerto Rico will face water rationing due to increasingly dry conditions in a U.S. commonwealth still struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria.

Governor Ricardo Rossello said today that seven municipalities in the island’s northwest region could be without water for up to 24 hours at a time starting next week.

Federal officials say 76 per cent of Puerto Rico is experiencing abnormally dry conditions and another eight per cent is in a moderate drought. They say some 220,000 people are experiencing a drought.

Those affected by the water restrictions depend on the Guajataca reservoir, which was damaged by the Category 4 hurricane that hit in September 2017.

Officials say improvements to the reservoir will be completed by May and include increased capacity for water storage.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 50 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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