Costa Rican state water utility AyA has called on the population to reduce its daily consumption by 20%, the entity reported in a release.
Every citizen must cut their water usage from 200l/d to 160l/d to avoid a severe water shortage in the next few months, according to AyA president Ricardo Sancho.
The forecast is based on a study by the water authority, which showed that the El Niño climate phenomenon has caused a reduction in water levels in the central pacific, metropolitan and central western regions.
The hardest-hit region is Chorotega, where the Jicaral, Mansión, Bolsón-Ortega, Tamarindo and Liberia systems all showed up to a 50% reduction in water levels compared to historical averages.
In Puriscal, a canton in the central province of San José, water levels have also fallen by 50%.
Surface water systems in the greater metropolitan area have not yet been affected, but could fall by up to 40% if low rainfall continues in the area, Sancho said.
The utility may begin to ration water in the metropolitan area if water levels continue to fall. Water will also be distributed by trucks, a measure that has already begun in the Atenas canton of Alajuela province.
Source: BNamericas.com [subscription site], Friday, 25 Sep 2009