NPR

With Bottles And Buckets, Puerto Ricans Seek The Water To Survive

The damage left by Hurricane Maria has disabled running water for many in Puerto Rico. People are driving to mountain springs to fill empty soda bottles and heading to rivers to do their laundry.

Millions of people have no access to a power grid in Puerto Rico. Gas for cars and generators is hard to find. Cash is in short supply.

But there's another need that's even more pressing.

"I can live without power," says Wanda Ferrer. "But I can't live without water."

Ferrer was one of many people filling up at a government spigot in Toa Bajo, west of San Juan. Communities across Puerto Rico have lost running water as a result of the widespread power outages from Hurricane Maria, and it's not clear when it will be restored.

Bottled water isn't

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR3 min read
Politics, Industry Backlash Stall White House Ban On Flavored Vaping Products
In September, the Trump administration said it would ban all flavored e-cigarette products in an effort to reduce the youth vaping epidemic. Since then, there's been no movement toward implementation.
NPR5 min readPolitics
With Democratic Field In Flux, What To Watch For At The November Debate
Pete Buttigieg may face scrutiny after popping in the polls. Elizabeth Warren provided answers about her health care plan, and now she'll have to defend them. And is the field finally set?
NPR4 min readScience
50 Years Ago, Americans Made The 2nd Moon Landing... Why Doesn't Anyone Remember?
Everyone knows about Apollo 11, the first moon landing. And about ill-fated Apollo 13. Between them is the forgotten mission — Apollo 12.