Rusty Pipes and Broken Toilets: The Water Crisis in Cuba


Helena Solo-Gabriele

Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Associate Dean for Research
College of Engineering, University of Miami

Joseph B. Treaster

School of Communication, University of Miami

Enrique S. Pumar

Chair, Department of Sociology, Global Migration and Refugees Studies Program
The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.


February 27, 2017

Cuban water issues stem from an obsolete and deteriorating infrastructrure. The original water and sewage systems on the island were installed prior to the Cuban Revolution in 1959. Daily water shortages, leaky pipes, non-working toilets and contaminated water are common. A large part of the problem in Havana is due to the aquifer underneath the Almenares River. The river receives all the sewage and the water infiltrates into the aquifer, putting the drinking water at risk.