To supply the stoves and splits that heated the inhabitants of Capital Fedetal and the Conurbano, the water resources of the Neuquén province had to be squeezed to generate energy, this added to climate change resulted in the province experiencing one of the worst droughts in its history. Governor Omar Gutierrez declared a water, environmental and agricultural emergency throughout the province.
Decree 1689/16 that establishes the emergency states in one of its paragraphs that the drought "affects not only the population due to the lack of water for consumption, but also for irrigation and animal use" The undersecretary of Water Resources of the province, Horacio Carvalho tried to justify the situation by blaming the climate "it is a problem that has been occurring for years due to natural issues and not due to the lack of works". The Emergency will be for one year and enables to work with the Nation and to request funds and tax exemptions.
The downspout of the Limay and Neuquén rivers is very worrying, legislators Francisco Baggio and Fernando Schpoliansky were the promoters of the declaration of Emergency that Governor Gutierrez confirmed last week. These legislators also want to create a committee to monitor river beds to carry out bacterial examinations, they also seek to remedy the damage that has been done to these streams that today suffer the consequences of mismanagement due to the excessive generation of energy in hydroelectric dams.
Speaking to the Río Negro newspaper, Baggio explained that "the residents of Neuquén are going to have a great negative consequence." During the emergency, the construction of new buildings that constitute new water supply ports that cannot be guaranteed will not be authorized.
“We are in an alarming situation. The drainage works must be carried out quickly, it is necessary to guarantee the neighbors access to a vital source such as water. Otherwise, not only will there be no water in the rivers for bathing, we will not have water for irrigation and no safe water to drink. It is not easy to guess that in the most remote neighborhoods, no water will come out of the taps, ”said Baggio.
Legislators understand that there is a culprit in this: the energy market regulator: Cammesa.
“The discretionary management of the basin carried out by the Interjurisdictional Authority of the Limay, Neuquén and Negro River Basins (AIC), favoring the generation of electricity over the Neuquén water resource, caused the drought of the reservoirs and now We do not have water, Cammesa prioritized the generation of hydroelectric energy to supply the Federal Capital and Greater Buenos Aires, without taking into account the riverbed and the region's drought situation, and this caused the reservoirs to drop ”.
For these legislators, if urgent measures are not taken, the situation will be catastrophic for the residents of Neuquén. The case shows a complete lack of energy planning in a country where providers are more focused on asking for tariff increases than on developing sustainable methods to obtain energy.