COSTA RICA NEWS Experts at the Universidad Nacional (UNA) propose to government authorities the use of satellites to combat the onslaught generated by the drought, mainly in the province of Guancaste.
The academics say they can use the data and records provided by the LandSat 8 satellite, which takes weekly photos of the planet. The satellites were built and put into orbit by the Unite States gvoernment, with the first of its kind launched in 1972.
[su_pullquote class=”H2″]Related: Let Them Eat Lizard: Nicaragua Suggests Eating Iguanas As Food Crisis Looms [/su_pullquote] The LandSat is also used to collect information on deforested areas in the world that provide images at very high resolution. The country currently has data, but not as abundant and specific as the devices can capture.
“In Costa Rica we have data but not much,” said Yamileth Astorga, president of the Acueductos y Alcantarillados (AyA) – water and sewer utility, during a meeting in Guanacaste last month.
Astorga said that the hour by hour hdyrological monitoring is an option, but coslty and could take 25 years to develop a good database. “Thus we have to play between the ideal, that is scientifically monitoring and the practical,” said the AyA chief.
According to the Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería (MAG) – ministry of agriculture and livestock, the Guanacaste region had recorded losses of ¢20 billion colones in crops, the most addected are corn (1.378 hectares), rice (604 hectares), watermelon (57 hectares), sugarcase (50 hectares) and beans with 29 hectares. The drought is also affecting the production of milk, meat and honey.
According to Ricardo Sánchez, PhD in hydrology at the UNA, the drought or “heat dome” is also affecting the Paific areas of Costa Rica, putting at risk a large number of marine species.
“In the heat dome, where the cold waters of ocean deep should surface with lots nutrients, now are emerging not as cold. This has implications for marine resources (…) then fishing will also be affected,” said Sanchez.
The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN) – national weather service, is predicting a low rainfall during the coming months, which are generally have the heaviest rainfall of the rainy season that ends in Novemeber.