Progreso’s tap-water crisis is like a steady drip

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Progreso’s water crisis worsens. Photo: Diario de Yucatán

Progreso, Yucatán — For the second time in less than 15 days, the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) cut power to a water pump station in Flamboyanes to pressure the Municipal System of Drinking Water and Sewerage of Progreso (Smapap) to pay its debt.

The Smapap hooked up a portable generator to reactivate the station, so that residents can have water.

At the height of vacation season, when the population triples and beach houses are all occupied, the lack of water pressure bedevils this port city.

One water customer, José Patrón, complained that his tap squirts water for just a few hours a day.

Freddy Pech Martínez, the director of the water utility Smapap, said unpaid electric bills are behind the crisis — and water pumps require power. Summertime demand makes it worse.

Pech Martínez said the city paid the CFE 800,000 pesos, but still owes another million.

Other customers said that they were informed that the service will gradually be brought back to normal.

Officials point out that, in principle, the problem of water scarcity is because of high temperatures and high water consumption.

In Progreso and neighboring Chicxulub and Chelem, many citizens fear that this problem will worsen with the start of the school year.

“We do not even get to bathe and classes are coming. How are we going to send our children to school?” Said Maria Lopez, a Flamboyanes resident.

Santiago Valle, a resident of Chelem, said that there are entire days when there is no supply of drinking water.

In colonias west of Chicxulub, neighbors blamed extravagant summer-home residents who fill their pools and wash their floors and numerous vehicles.

Sources: Punto Medio, Diario de Yucatán

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