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Major Drought Adds To Puerto Rico's Economic Burden

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In this June 15, 2015 photo, a man stands on the banks of the unusually low Carraizo reservoir in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. Tens of thousands of people receive water only every third day under strict rationing recently imposed by the island government. (Ricardo Arduengo/AP)
In this June 15, 2015 photo, a man stands on the banks of the unusually low Carraizo reservoir in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. Tens of thousands of people receive water only every third day under strict rationing recently imposed by the island government. (Ricardo Arduengo/AP)

On the brink of financial default, Puerto Rico is also grappling with the worst drought in its history. Nearly 350,000 residents and businesses on the island are on mandatory water rationing cycles, going at least every other 24-hours without running water. Many are only getting their taps turned on every third day.

With $73 billion in debt, Puerto Rico faces a potentially disastrous economic impact from the drought. Some industries like agriculture and sardine farming are suffering, but hotels remain open with the water flowing.

Here & Now's Peter O'Dowd speaks with San Juan resident and economist Heidie Calero about how the drought is affecting everyday life, and the potential economic impact.

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This segment aired on July 20, 2015.

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