Colombian warnings increase over possible water shortages through April 2010 together with the fear of forest fires as El Niño phenomenon provokes ongoing drought.
El Espectador reported that Colombia has suffered from a lack of rain despite the rainy season and river levels reached a record low for this month. The Caribbean coast, parts of the Andes and the eastern plains are at risk for forest fires.
According to reports from the Institute for Hydrology, Meteorology, and Environmental Studies (IDEAM), the drought is a result of El Niño, which has caused exceptional climate changes in all the region.
Colombia has temporarily suspended energy exports to neighboring countries Ecuador and Venezuela out of fear it may run out of energy when there’s no longer enough water to supply hydro-electricity.
Leyla Rojas, the country’s Minister of Water has announced there will be sanctions for those who waste water. The rate of consumption is 40 cubic meters per home per month. Those exceeding the allotted amount will pay double the value of consumption.