Puerto Rico imposes water rations that could make daily showers a challenge

People living in and near San Juan will have access to water only every other day as El Niño phenomenon leads to drier conditions and high temperatures.

Puerto Rico has imposed strict water-rationing measures that will make daily showers a challenge for tens of thousands of people and force businesses such as restaurants and car washes to brace for a summer expected to be drier than usual.

More than 160,000 people living in and near the capital of San Juan will have access to water only every other day, with officials warning on Wednesday that service could be cut for up to 36 hours if water levels at the island’s main reservoirs keep dropping. The measures could remain in place for months.

“This is not the time to be filling up pools, washing cars or using hoses to clean,” said Alberto Lazaro, executive president of the island’s water and sewer company.

He said another 70,000 people could be affected by rationing measures if rain doesn’t fall soon. Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla recently declared a state of emergency given the increasingly dry conditions.

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