Uruguay’s Economy Ministry Monday greenlighted the tax-free import of bottled water as one of the measures against the drought affecting Montevideo and the metropolitan area, it was reported. Meanwhile, Presidential Secretary Álvaro Delgado confirmed that the desalination plant to be brought from Houston does not fit “by 15 centimeters” in the C-130 Hercules aircraft sent to pick it up and it will therefore take “a few weeks” to reach South America by ship.
”With the first data they gave of the dimensions it would fit in the Hercules, (but) when the company adjusted by 15 centimeters it does not fit,“ said Delgado.
The Uruguayan government purchased a 150,000-liter desalination plant to be used for hospitals and other places where it might be needed since it can be carried from one place to another in a truck.
”We are going to use several desalination plants. The most important one is the one UTE has in Punta del Tigre, which is reverse osmosis. We will be using other types of plants. And there was also one that UTEC had designed, which was in Houston, and which was going to be sought. Apparently, because of 15 centimeters, it does not fit in the Hercules“, said Delgado in a press conference on Monday from Maldonado.
”With the first data they gave about the dimensions, it would fit in the Hercules, (but) when the company adjusted the container, which was not so standard, by 15 centimeters it does not fit. Therefore, this week the possibility of it coming by ship is being enabled,“ he added.
The OSE water company is currently taking water from the lower Santa Lucía River to mix it with the upstream water normally used, in order to stretch the country’s reserves amid an ”unprecedented“ drought.
Beyond extending OSE’s supply capacity, the water delivered to the population is of poorer quality, so much so that Environment Minister Robert Bouvier said it was ”drinkable“, but ”technically“ not ”potable.”