Venezuela Combats Severe Drought with New Electricity Rationing Plan

Venezuela implemented new electricity saving measures on Monday in response to a severe drought that has sharply limited the generating capacity of the country’s hydroelectric dams.

By Lucas Koerner

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El Guri hydroelectric dam, source of 70% of Venezuela’s power. (El Nacional)
El Guri hydroelectric dam, source of 70% of Venezuela’s power. (El Nacional)
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Caracas, April 25, 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) –Venezuela implemented new electricity saving measures on Monday in response to a severe drought that has sharply limited the generating capacity of the country’s hydroelectric dams.

Beginning this week, the central government will start to ration electricity nationwide with the exception of Vargas, Nueva Esparta and the Caracas capital district, introducing daily four-hour suspensions of electrical service that will vary according to day and region.

No suspensions will occur between the hours of 8:00pm and 12:00am.

The plan is aimed at halting declining water levels in the Guri reservoir in eastern Bolivar state, which supplies around 70% of the country’s electricity. 

The measures are set to last for 40 days or until the rainy season begins.

Venezuela is currently suffering its worst drought since 1969, which is believed to be caused by the El Niño effect, accentuated by climate change. 

Earlier this month, the Venezuelan government unveiled further energy saving steps, including instituting a four-day work week and announcing a half-hour, daylight saving change of time zone that will take effect on May 1st

According to the government, the new measures successfully saved 400 megawatts of energy in March and prevented a 22-centimeter drop in the Guri hydroelectric dam.

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