The drought in Colombia caused by El Niño has meant that water rationing in the Cali region is to be implemented three to four times a week in more than twenty districts.
The water restrictions have been put into place due to the falling water levels of rivers such as the Melendez River, whose flow rate has fallen by more than 600 liters per second, reports Caracol TV.
The residents of the 18th and 20th communes of the capital of Valle del Cauca have had to endure their water service being suspended for eight hours a day every third day, whereas before it was cut for six hours.
Alfredo Urbano, director of the Drinkable Water division of Emcali, explained that these provisions should be to “reform the plant’s need for 450 liters of water per second on average,” for those sectors. However, “the [current] condition of the river has forced us to daily ration the supplies so that everyone can have water, even if it is only for a few hours.”
Faced with the shortage situation, Cali’s water supply company called on residents to make wise use of the service, in order to prevent rationing from spreading to other parts of the city.
Colombia is one of the countries of the world hardest hit by the El Niño and La Niña phenomenons, as it is located in an area of direct influence of the warming of Pacific waters. According to the institute, the weather changes “are becoming periodic when before they were not,” in Colombia, and that El Niño is forecast to remain in effect until the end of March 2010.