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Some 10 percent of the Cuban population are suffering from water supply shortages and the country's capital city Havana is among the most affected.

According to a Saturday report by the Cuban state TV, 1.16 million Cubans, with 808,000 of them in Havana, have to cope with insufficient water supply daily.

Leakage from an aging pipeline network is a major cause for the supply shortage, the report said, adding that some of the water supply lines were built more than a century ago.

According to figures by Cuba's water sector regulator National Institute of Hydraulic Resources (INRH), between 50 and 58 percent of water pumped nationwide fails to reach its destination due to such leakages, and another 22 percent is lost inside households.

The INRH officials said the institute is currently undertaking a restoration program of the water supply networks in 11 cities across the island nation.

The Cuban media have called for the "saving and rational use" of water, saying such measures "constitute a large reservoir" amid grave challenges from the climate change and drought in recent years.

Between 2004 and 2005, Cuba suffered the most severe drought in a century, when the reservoir capacity decreased to nearly 27 percent and over 1.5 million people had to be supplied with water tankers.

Cuban scientists warned that drought will not cease affecting the country despite the rainy periods, as the island is in the same latitude as world's largest desert of Sahara.

The Cuban authorities said to cope with drought requires very large investment since it is expensive to build canals, improve the aqueducts and renovate reservoirs.


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