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Bogota, Columbia, Implements Water Rationing - La Niña May Bring Relief

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Bogotá, Columbia's mayor, Carlos Galán, announced on April 10, 2024, that the capital city, with a population of about 11,625,000, will start mandatory water rationing. Residents will have no water to use for about one day each week.

This drastic measure comes because of extremely low water levels in the reservoirs where residents get their water.

About 70% of the city's drinking water comes from San Rafael and Chuza reservoirs. In all, the city uses water in eight reservoirs. Water from those eight reservoirs is divided into three water systems.

Overall, the system is experiencing over a 55% shortage. The Chingaza System, which includes the two main reservoirs, is at less than 18% capacity. The Northern system is at less than 44% capacity, while the Southern System is at less than 55% capacity.

The mayor is hopeful that rationing will only last until the end of the month, but that depends on the weather.

Residents can use a phone app to learn what days they will have no water and the latest updates.

He is asking residents to reduce water usage even on the days when water is available. He suggests taking shorter showers, reducing outside water usage and reusing rainwater.

El Niño to Blame for Water Shortage

The mayor says that El Niño is responsible for water levels in the reservoirs surrounding the city being at extremely low levels.

During El Niño, trade winds off the Pacific Ocean usually weaken.

Therefore, they typically carry less moisture into the country from the ocean. It is usual for areas near the Andes Mountains to experience less rain during El Niño, but the lack of rainfall in the last few months has been particularly alarming.


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