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Bogota implements water restrictions amid critical reservoir levels

  • Bogota implements water restrictions amid critical reservoir levels

Carlos Fernando Galán, the mayor of Bogota, Colombia’s capital city, declared on Monday water restrictions as reservoir levels plummeted to critical lows, reports

The mayor described the situation of the reservoirs that supply the sprawling Andean capital with water as "critical".

In a press briefing, Galán revealed that two vital reservoirs supplying the city had reached their lowest points since the mid-1980s, attributing the scarcity of rainfall to the El Niño climate pattern.

Galan announced impending cuts starting Thursday, citing "the critical levels of the reservoirs from which we draw drinking water from Bogota."

In response to the crisis, the city's eight million residents have been organized into nine sectors, each scheduled for a 24-hour water cut on designated days, with the cycle repeating accordingly.

The objective is to slash household water consumption by 11%, with the restrictions slated to remain in effect until reservoir levels experience a significant recovery.

"This is a temporary situation, and rain will help us alleviate it, but climate change is a reality that we cannot ignore," Galan emphasized.

The general director of the Corporación Autónoma Regional de Cundinamarca - CAR, Alfred Ignacio Ballesteros Alarcón, joined the call to save water.

According to the latest measurements from CAR on April 4th, the three reservoirs of the Northern Aggregate (Neusa, Sisga and Tominé) had an average total storage of 55.4%, while those of the Southern Aggregate (Chisacá and La Regadera) were stable at 42.8% of their capacity.

The Chingaza system, on the other hand, made up of the Chuza and San Rafael reservoirs, reported an accumulated storage of 16.19 % with a downward trend, and the El Hato reservoir, located in the municipality of Carmen de Carupa, 82.3 %

The Acueducto de Bogotá has published some recommendations to save water, including to reduce the time of showers, check the gaskets of pipes and taps to avoid leaks, use the washing machine at maximum load, keep storage tanks clean so that the water contained therein is drinkable and wash cars using buckets, not hoses.

Colombia's commencement of the year witnessed soaring temperatures and a surge in forest fires, exacerbated by drought and weather conditions intensified by El Niño, including blazes on mountains surrounding Bogotá.

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