December 28th, 2012 (InsideCostaRica.com) The Lake Arenal reservoir and hydroelectric complex is under constant observation as it is the only reservoir in the country with enough capacity to save water from the rainy season for electricity generation in the dry season.
With the rainy season ended, the lake reservoir has not reached the level expected by the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE).
Last Thursday, the water level measured 539.9 meters above sea level, almost 3 meters below the required level of 542 meters above sea level.
With such a low level of water in the Arenal lake reservoir, ICE, the main electricity provider in Costa Rica, will be forced to generate electricity with petroleum this dry season.
Such production is significantly more expensive and harmful to the environment than hydroelectric production.
However, Teofilo de la Torre, executive president of ICE, assured that there would be no blackouts or electricity rationing as a result of the low water levels.
He also said that ICE is still holding out hope for additional rainfall, and will also be bringing online some thermal energy sources next year.
Between February and April of this year, ICE spent 40 billion colons in petroleum fuel for electricity generation (about $80 million USD).
In the month of October, the Arenal lake reservoir registered its lowest level since 1994, causing concern among the Environment and Energy Ministry and ICE.