Residents of the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, who already struggle to find toilet paper and deodorant, are facing a new shortage -- drinking water.
The rationing of tap water amid a drought and a shortage of bottles because of currency controls are forcing people to form long lines at grocery stores and bottle shops as soon as deliveries are made. Truck drivers spend much of their day outside water dispatch centers as they try to meet demand.
“I used to have to wait an hour to refill the truck, but now I have to wait six,” said Carlos Miliani from his truck outside the Alpina dispatch center in eastern Caracas. “More trucks are lining up here because of the shortage of plastic containers and the fact that plants that bottle mineral water have shut down.”
Miliani, who was waiting behind 15 trucks at 11 a.m. to fill up with 5-gallon (19-liter) jugs, said that a government-mandated water rationing plan in Caracas and hot weather are fueling demand as supply shrinks.