Bogotá implements water rationing with Colombian capital divided in nine zones

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Mayor Carlos Fernando Galán announces the water restrictions for Bogotá. Photo: Alcaldía.

“We cannot afford to waste a single drop of water,” stated Bogotá Mayor Carlos Fernando Galán during a press conference on Monday, in which the district announced the water rationing measures for the Colombian capital. The city-wide restrictions that go in effect as from Thursday are based on the fact that the Chingaza reservoir that supplies 70% of the capital’s water, has seen its water levels drop to 16%, and lowest percentage since this high Andes reservoir became operational in the mid-1980s.

A prolonged El Niño weather pattern, as well as very dry month of March, has resulted in water rationing for Bogotá’s nine million inhabitants, and which will remain in effect until expected rainfall toward the end of April can replenish the Chingaza reservoir.

The water rationing restrictions will be divided into nine sectors of the capital, with each sector going 24 hours (8:00 am to 8:00 am the following day), without water on an assigned day. Households and business will be able to consult that day in which there will be no running water with a virtual chatbot as from Wednesday.  The virtual chatbox “Chatico” will be available on WhatsApp at: +57 (316) 0231524

The objective is to reduce household consumption by 11%. “This is a temporary situation,” highlighted Mayor Galán, “but climate change is a reality that we cannot ignore,” he said. The restrictions also apply to 11 municipalities in the greater Bogotá region that depend on the Chingaza water system. Included in these municipalites are: Funza, Mosquera, Soacha, Chía, Cajicá, Sopó, Gachancipá, and Tocancipá.

“We will report every day on the city’s water consumption, and status of the levels in the Chingaza system. Every 15 days, depending on rainfall patterns and the savings target, we will announce whether the measure is maintained, relaxed, or if we need to make it more restrictive,” highlighted Galán. “It is important to understand that solutions to the complex problems we face, in this case the impact of climate change on reservoirs, do not come from one person or an institution, but from the entire society. Let’s unite to save water,” emphasized the Mayor.

The zone for day 1 (April 11), covers neighborhoods in 10 localities: Antonio Nariño (23 neighborhoods), Barrios Unidos (53), Chapinero (18), Los Mártires (22), Puente Aranda (69), Rafael Uribe Uribe (28), Santa Fe (1), Teusaquillo (52), Tunjuelito (4), and Usaquén (16).

The zone for day 2 (April 12) includes neighborhoods in two localities and one supply point, as follows: Engativá (290 neighborhoods) and Fontibón (21), and the supply point of ESP Aguas La Sabana (Cota Industrial Zone).

The zone for day 3 (April 13) has neighborhoods in three localities, distributed in Barrios Unidos (13 neighborhoods), Suba (478), and Usaquén (119).

In the zone for day 4 (April 14) has neighborhoods in five localities: Bosa (397 neighborhoods), Ciudad Bolívar (113), Kennedy (45), Puente Aranda (6), and Tunjuelito (32).

The zone for day 5 (April 15) has neighborhoods in six localities: Ciudad Bolívar (154 neighborhoods), Rafael Uribe Uribe (154), San Cristóbal (215), Santa Fe (30), and Tunjuelito (1).

The zone for day 6 (April 16) comprises one locality: Suba (335 neighborhoods); the municipality of Soacha (617 neighborhoods).

The zone for day 7 (April 17) includes the municipalities of Funza, Madrid, and Mosquera; and neighborhoods from the localities of Fontibón (173) and Kennedy (42).

In the zone for day 8 (April 18) covers nine localities and supply points in La Calera and Arboretto. The localities are: Antonio Nariño (6), Bosa (17), Chapinero (78), Kennedy (282), Los Mártires (2), Rafael Uribe Uribe (9), San Cristóbal (61), Santa Fe (35), and Usaquén (65).

The zone for day 9 (April 19) consists of neighborhoods in two localities: Usaquén (65) and Suba (12), and Chía, Cajicá, Cojardín, Sopó (2), Tocancipá, and Gachancipá – ESP Acuapolis. Usme will be the only locality without service restrictions.

Zone 8 will be of importance to many who reside along the Eastern Cerros Orientales, between Calles 26 and 193; and above the Carrera 7.

Map of Zone 8. Photo: EAAB