Valentina Oropeza


Living without water

Living without water was published in Prodavinci on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. It was recognized with the first place in the 2019 Ipys Venezuela investigative journalism award and with the digital feature of the year in the Monsignor Pellín award.

Image by Iñaki Zugasti

It is a multimedia special that analyzes 57 running water supply plans published by the authorities in 2016 and 2017.

We found that at least 9.78 million Venezuelans lived under formal rationing between 2016 and 2017. They had an average of 48 hours of water a week. Parishes where more than 42% of their population were poor received less than 48 hours of water a week. Falcón was the driest state: its inhabitants received 14 hours of water a week. Nueva Esparta is the second driest state in Venezuela. Its inhabitants had 12.5% ​​monthly access.

To identify the differences in access between the poorest and the least poor parishes, we cross-referenced the data on rationing with demographic information from the National Statistical Institute in alliance with MEG, a consulting firm specialized in quantitative analysis of public policies.

To show the impact of rationing, we collected testimonies in six states: Caracas, Miranda, Aragua, Falcón, Guárico and Nueva Esparta.

We investigated five water storage and distribution systems. The Tuy System, the Bolivarian Aqueduct, the Central Regional System and the Clavellinos and Turimiquire systems. We reviewed reports and accounts of the Ministry of the Environment, reports from the Comptroller Office, documents from construction companies and hydrological press releases. We also consulted experts.

We requested interviews with the authorities but they did not respond for this investigation Living without water.