Cuenca’s municipal utilities company, ETAPA, is urging customers to limit their use of water for non-essential purposes.
According to Ivan Palacios, ETAPA manager, the flow of water from the Caja Mountains watershed has slowed due to dry weather conditions and levels at city reservoirs have dropped. “We are not in an emergency situation but we are appealing to the public to use water wisely,” he said.
Palcacios suggested that customers avoid washing cars and pets, and to keep watering of ornamental plants to a minimum.
Monitoring stations at Cuenca’s four rivers all report reduced flow. The Tomebamba and Yanuncay, both with headwaters in the Cajas, are flowing at about a quarter of their average rate.
Palacios said that Cuenca has received little rain in the past month but said low rainfall is normal for this time. “July and August are traditionally our driest months,” he said. “Rainfall will increase through the end of the year, before the wet season begins in January.”