Lawmaker says water woes may close Pacific hotels

A lawmaker warned Monday that the shortage of water in Guanacaste might cause hotels to close in the next few weeks.

The domestic water crisis caused by a prolonged drought has been overshadowed in the news by the problems facing farmers and ranchers in the area.

But the lawmaker, Juan Marín, said that even a major hotel like the Barceló might be forced to close due to the lack of water. That would leave 250 employees without jobs, he said.

The shortage has caused the hotel management to spend $55,000 during July just to bring in water, the lawmaker told the Asamblea Legislativa.

He blamed the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados. However, there are many other smaller water systems in the area.

Marín said that today he and fellow lawmakers who represent that area will meet with the leadership of the national water company to seek solutions.

The dry spell is a result of the El Niño conditions in the Pacific. For months ranchers have been cutting their herds and moving animals to other locations so they could find forage. There has been a promise of an emergency decree.

Marín also said that the proliferation of drug sales on the beach was hurting tourism in Tamarindo as did the closing of the local airport due to asphalt breaking up on the runway

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