The water level in the Arenal reservoir hydroelectric complex is three to four metres below optimun levels established by the state power company, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE).
ICE officials say the level today is 535.3 metres above sea leavel, one of the lowest in history, similar to that recorded in 1994, 1995 and 2007.
According to ICE engineer, José Corrales, the situation is concerning because if the current demand continues, by mid-May the situation will be critical, which could mean power shortages and an increase in rates.
ICE president, Teófilo de la Torre, acknowledges the plight of the reservoir and that return to normal levels will depend on the amount of rainfall during the coming rainy season.
The drop in hydroelectric production means firing up generators using bunker fuel, increasing costs for the state power company, which in turns means a request for higher electricity rates from the consumer.