State water firm says it will begin drilling wells in Guanacaste

Although El Niño has caused a drought on the Pacific coast for more than a year, the state water company says it will be drilling its first wells in Guanacaste starting in April. The first ones will be in San José de la Montaña in Santa Cruz, Los Andes de La Cruz and Maquenco de Nicoya.

The three are part of a 13-well project in and around the parched province, said the  Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados. In all, the institute said it plans to sink 75 wells in 2016 and 2017.

In addition, the water company said that it is making an effort along with the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo and the Cámara de Comercio y Turismo de Tamarindo to help operators of hotels, restaurants and other tourism locations to get by in this dry season.

The water company plans a technology fair in March to demonstrate water-saving devices. The company said it already has held training for some employees of tourism operations and plans to continue distributing information on ways to save water.

Among these, it said, is that business operators in the area  check their own water systems to eliminate leaks.

The work is being done in conjunction with the local water companies, the institute said.

The company said it dos not plan to institute rationing in the

metro areas, except in parts of Alajuelita where the system has problems. However, the company is surprising residents with periodic shutoffs of water. These shutoffs may last from six to 12 hours, usually in the evenings and early mornings.

Most expats who have lived here through a dry season know that a good idea is to have some five-gallon containers filled with water for times when the company shuts off their geographical area.

The dry season usually begins to moderate by late March or early April. El Niño is supposed to continue in the eastern Pacific for at least the first half of the year.

Residents in 50 towns are depending on trucked water.

Residents in 50 towns are depending on trucked water.

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