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Rationing forces more water care

Written by Marisol
WAYRA Instituto de Español

By: Tamarindo News Staff Photo courtesy: Casa Presidencial

  • A y A asks to curb the amount of water to 5 liters per person per day
Showering in less time or using the washing machine with full load allows more water to be distributed to the families affected by the drought and El Niño Phenomenon. One person uses an average of two 200-litre-tins of water per day.

228,000 people have been affected by water shortages in Costa Rica.

Due to the drop in well flows and the announced late arrival of the rains, the Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (AyA) in Tamarindo as well as rural aqueducts of many communities were forced to rationalise the use of water.

The measure affects the communities´ daily activities and therefore the Institute called for each person to save at least five liters of water per day with simple measures, which would provide more liquid to the families affected by the drought.

Taking two minutes less in the shower, using the washing machine only in full load or watering the plants with a container can achieve a significant saving at a time when 228,000 people in the country are affected by the lack of water due to the drought.

“Given that our city and neighborhoods are located at different altitudes, there are sectors that are rarely affected by the drought. If the residents that live in these areas put these measures into effect, the families of the affected locations will receive more water flow “,  explained the General Manager of AyA, Manuel Salas.

On average, it is estimated that in Costa Rica one person uses more than two 200-litre-tins of water per day, which places us as high water users. Further water saving measures are to wash the car less frequently and with bucket, to turn off the faucet until rinse the dishes and to avoid watering sidewalks and streets. Moreover, check that there are no leaks in the toilets, faucets or pipes in homes

The dry season combined with El Niño Phenomenon made that the water production of supplier rivers and wells have decreased their production to 17.8%, which is insufficient. Likewise, joint monitoring of SENARA, MINAE and AyA estimate an average decrease of the Pacific slope groundwater of 1.5 meters.

More water

The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) and the AyA took measures to get an extra amount of one hundred liters per second of water from the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) from Orosi.

Recently, in Guanacaste, the Institute inaugurated the Sardinal-El Coco and the Trancas-Papagayo aqueducts, which increase the guarantee of water supply in that area. In addition, progress is made in the coastal aqueduct of Santa Cruz as well as, this Wednesday, it was settled the first pipe for the aqueduct Cañas-Bebedero.

Affected population

Approximately 228,000 people who receive water through the AyA or through the Rural Aqueduct Associations' (ASADAS)  have been affected by water shortages  due the drought and the El Niño Phenomenon. 

Among the AyA users, the most affected region is the GAM (195,500 people), followed by the Chorotega region (close to 9,000). As for the ASADAS, the affected population that are supplied with cisterns is 19,337 people, mostly in the Huetar Norte region (5,200) and the Chorotega region (almost 5,000). In addition, in the Caribbean region, the communities lack of aqueducts and receive water in cisterns as well are supplied by artisan wells.

Supplier: AyA, affected population
AyA Region Affected population
GAM 195,479
Chorotega 8,974
Central Pacífic 2,110
Brunca 2,033
Central 126
TOTAL 208,722
Supplier: ASADAS
Region Affected population Communities
Huetar Norte 5,200 2
Chorotega 4,926 25
Metropolitana 3,674 3
Central Este 3,292 7
Pacífico Central 2,245 6
TOTAL 19,337 43

Note/ The figures do not include the population that is supplied by Municipalities nor by the Public Services Institute of Heredia.  

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