BEIRUT — The South Lebanon Water Establishment (SLWE) announced Thursday that its main stations, wells, and distribution centers no longer supply running water, following the Wednesday shutdown of the Deir Ammar (North Lebanon) and Zahrani (South Lebanon) power plants.
The company responsible for operating these plants is claiming arrears of over $100 million from the public utility Électricité du Liban (EDL).
The Water Board therefore asked its subscribers to ration water, "pending the resumption of normal power supply," SLWE said in a statement.
Running water is frequently subject to cuts in the country, often due to electricity rationing.
On Monday, the SLWE warned of a supply stoppage due to an interruption in electricity. At the same time, EDL asked public institutions, including water establishments, to repay their electricity bills or experience power cuts.
This is not the first time EDL has found itself in a near-blackout situation since the start of the economic crisis in 2019, which brought other public services to a halt.
The Lebanese lira has depreciated by more than 98% since the onset of the crisis, wiping out the already-meager revenue the public provider received via bill collection. Its tariffs have been maintained by successive governments, based on a barrel of oil at $23 from 1994 to 2022.