Concerns of a week ago that lack of rain was overtaxing the Cuenca drinking water system have been replaced by worries about flooding in low-lying areas.
The Ecuador Institute of Meteorology (Inamhi) reports that the city received from 61 (2.2 inches) and 75 (three inches) millimeters of rain in various locations since Tuesday with more in the forecast for the weekend.
Last Monday, city water utility ETAPA was considering issuing cautions for water use due to the lack of rainfall. “The rain is wonderful and comes at an opportune time for us,” says Lenin Álvarez, who manages the city’s potable water service. “The dry season had left the rivers running at very low levels and we were concerned that we would need to impose water-use restrictions in some areas.”
He added: “Now, we must deal with flooding in some areas and warn residents to avoid river banks due to the high rate of flow.”
On Friday, the Rios Tomebamba and Machángara were running at 45.2 and 26.2 cubic meters per second, up from 15.3 and 5.1 a week earlier.
Inamhi predicts that dry weather will return early next week.