The Costa Rican Water and Sewer Institute (AyA) predicts 9% of its users will face significant water shortages during the dry season, which typically lasts from mid-December until April.
According to the National Meteorological Institute, the 2019 green season produced less rain than expected throughout much of Costa Rica — as much as a 21% deficit in parts of the country.
As a result, underground aquifers are emptier than anticipated, so AyA says 219,000 people in Costa Rica — about half of whom live in the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) — could be impacted in the coming months.
The most affected locations in the GAM will be in the cantons of: Alajuelita, Desamparados, San José, Santa Ana, Escazú, Curridabat, La Unión, Tibás and Vásquez de Coronado. Outside the GAM, the regions with the greatest impact are: Brunca, the Central Pacific and Chorotega.
Casa Presidencial says 23 completed, ongoing or planned projects totaling $55 million will help AyA improve water availability in both the short and long term. Eight large projects were completed in 2019, according to the organization.
As the dry season begins, you can to help conserve water by:
- Taking shorter showers, and turning off the water while applying soap or shampoo.
- Turning off the sink while brushing your teeth and when possible as you wash dishes.
- Washing clothes only in large batches.
- Fixing leaks in toilets and sinks.
- Watering plants at sunset or later.
- Washing your vehicle less frequently.