In Moravia, Desamparados, Alajuelita and Hatillos alone almost 60,000 residents are struggling to meet needs in their homes and businesses due to water rationing this week.

Thousands more are affected in other communities as the national water authority, the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados (AyA), increased water rationing due to the decrease in water levels in its tanks that supply potable water to a number of cantons in the Greater Metropolitan Area of San Jose (GAM).

The AyA, to limit affecting any one neighborhood more than the other, is literally turning off the taps – keeping people without water –  in a rotation plan typically from 10 am to 5 pm.

The AyA estimates that the water deficit can affect more than one million people, in three levels of affectation during this dry season: more than 12 hours a day (high), from 6 to 12 hours (medium) and less than 6 hours (low).

The areas with the greatest shortages include the upper parts of Aserrí, Desamparados; San Jerónimo de Moravia; San Antonio de Alajuelita and La Uruca.

The AyA is asking the population do its part by making an efficient use of water, store water only for basic needs, not water lawns or water down streets (to reduce dust, especially on gravel or dirt roads) and water plants at night.

Since the middle of last year, the national weather service – the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN) – has been warning that the El Niño phenomenon could generate droughts mainly in the Pacific areas and lengthen the 2019 dry season.

The last few days all over the country we have been experiencing temperatures on average 2 and 3 degrees Celsius above normal for the season.

Tips for surviving the water rationing:

  • Shower early in the morning.
  • Store water for daily use like washing dishes, brushing teeth, etc. DO NOT overstore.
  • Keep bottled water, bidones (the 18 liter jugs) on hand.
  • Check the AyA website for water reationing. Select provice and canton and then click on “verano” for the water rationing schedule in your area.

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