The Costa Rican Water and Sewer Institute (AyA) estimates that 114,500 people have been affected by water shortages across the country due to drought caused by the El Niño phenomenon.
Of the impacted communities, the majority — or an estimated 100,000 people — reside in the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) surrounding San José.
In peak times, AyA says 57,000 people could find themselves without running water for at least 12 hours, 85,000 without running water for between six and 12 hours, and nearly 200,000 without running water for less than six hours.
AyA says it is building new aqueducts and water reservoirs, but that residents in heavily affected areas should take advantage of water trucks that will distribute potable water. People should also expect scheduled water outages if the drought continues.
The institute is asking all residents to reduce their water consumption by inspecting properties for water leaks, taking shorter showers, washing laundry in larger loads, watering plants at night and decreasing car washes.
“In the dry season, consumption increases up to 10 percent, so we must insist on saving measures: avoid washing the vehicle, sidewalks or watering plants during the day, as well as taking shorter showers,” said Yamileth Astorga, AyA’s Executive President.