Cuenca’s rivers are running at near-record lows and the city utility office says that water rationing is possible if levels don’t rise soon.
On Monday, the Tomebamba and Yanuncay rivers, the largest of the five rivers that supply Cuenca’s municipal water supply, were running at 4% and 17% respectively of normal flow levels, city utility ETAPA reported. An ETAPA spokesman said that dry season conditions have been made worse by the recent warm, sunny weather.
The high temperature on Sunday and Monday reached 25 degrees Celsius (77 Fahrenheit), well above the seasonal norm.
ETAPA advised customers to avoid unnecessary use of water, such as washing cars, and warned that those caught using municipal water for gardens could be fined.
ETAPA says it is hopeful that rain predicted for the rest of the week will alleviate the drought conditions. The national weather service is predicting showers. In its Monday forecast, it said that moisture moving across the Amazon jungle from the Atlantic Ocean will provide above normal rainfall to Ecuador and Colombia through the weekend.