1. Home
  2. Americas
  3. Colombia

El Niño drought forces water rationing in Colombian capital

Colombia’s capital city authorities have placed water rationing measures on its population of eight million people, citing alarmingly low levels of water in reservoirs linked to the El Niño weather phenomenon.

Since last Monday, water has been suspended for 24 hours in alternating neighbourhoods across the city, although some reports suggest the suspensions have lasted longer. 

People are even being urged to shower together. “Shower as a couple,” said Bogotá Mayor Carlos Fernando Galán. “This is an educational exercise in saving water, nothing else. That kind of thing is going to help us a lot. Those behavioural changes are key.”

El Niño has worsened conditions in many South American countries this year, with several forced to introduce emergency measures to combat searing drought and record-breaking temperatures.

In neighbouring Peru, El Niño-linked drought has pushed farmers to their limits and led to high rates of food insecurity and childhood malnutrition. Read our latest report on how this has impacted Peruvian farmers in the country's highlands here. 

Share this article

Get the day’s top headlines in your inbox every morning

Starting at just $5 a month, you can become a member of The New Humanitarian and receive our premium newsletter, DAWNS Digest.

DAWNS Digest has been the trusted essential morning read for global aid and foreign policy professionals for more than 10 years.

Government, media, global governance organisations, NGOs, academics, and more subscribe to DAWNS to receive the day’s top global headlines of news and analysis in their inboxes every weekday morning.

It’s the perfect way to start your day.

Become a member of The New Humanitarian today and you’ll automatically be subscribed to DAWNS Digest – free of charge.

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.