Residents of the Venezuelan capital face cuts in water service for as much as 48 hours per week, after the government imposed rationing to stem a 25 percent shortfall in the city's supply, officials said Monday.Chavez is quick to blame the rich for the woes, but the government's inability to provide sufficient water should be a warning about Chavez's policies on other areas of the Venezuelan economy.
Officials said cuts in water service were to be staggered throughout Caracas through the duration of the current dry season, which is not expected to end until May 2010.
Weather forecasters blame the "El Nino" weather phenomenon, saying the periodic weather system has markedly reduced rainfall and created drought conditions.
Others blame the shortage on poor government management of the country's water resources, while President Hugo Chavez faulted the excesses of capitalism.
"What will the rich fill their swimming pools with?" the country's leftist leader asked recently.
Instead of planning for the possibility of shortages, his government has sought to ration water and limit usage.