Costa Rica's Orosi Valley
Costa Rica’s Orosi Valley

The drought facing the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica and the large population of the Greater Metropolitan Area of San José (Gran Área Metropolitana – GAM – in Spanish) has reduced the amount of water in the supply tanks, generating a water shortage and water rationing in effect.

According to the Acueductos y Alcantarillados (AyA) – water and sewer utility –  the Orosi source has fallen from 700 to 300 litres per second, with no expectation for improvement until May, with the arrival of the first rains of the rainy season.

Rainfall in the Caribbean has fallen some 45% in the period between 2009 and 2013, with 2013 the driest year since 1995.

Sergio Núñez, deputy director of the AyA for the GAM, says it is the cause of the problems with outages in water supply in San José centro, Hatillo, San Sebastián, Zapote, San Francisco de Dos Ríos and Tibás. “We are in the most critical summer peak”, said Núñez.

In some parts of Heredia residents have to deal with water pipes dry between 10am and 6pm, in places like San Francisco de Heredia, even longer, from 8am to 8pm.

The Empresa de Servicios Públicos de Heredia (ESPH), the utility that provides water in Heredia, says the flow has gone from 300 litres per second in 2012, to the current 145 litres per second.

It’s common for those affected to start their morning with filling water containers before the taps go dry. In many areas the gardens are dry, the grass is brown, because there is no water, some schools close because they have no water for the toilets.

The AyA sends  water tanker trucks in areas most affected, but the service is only a stop gap. It won’t be until the rainy season starts that the situation  normalizes.

Source: La Nacion

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