Dam water levels down 32% in February

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Water levels in Chile's dams were down 31.9% during February 2011 compared with the same month last year, the public works ministry (MOP) said in a release.

The month's figures showed a 14.8% drop from January 2011.

Water levels in dams used for electricity generation dropped by 10.7% over the previous month, multiuse dams by 16.6%, potable water 4.2% and irrigation by 15.3%.

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Now that the irrigation period has ended, the ministry expects water levels in dams in the north and central zones of the country to recuperate.

Chile is currently experiencing one of its driest summers on record, putting pressure on hydropower sources.

The government passed a preventative rationing decree last month, enabling the reduction of electrical voltage across the grid by up to 10%.