Good news, electricity rationing stays

Venezuela’s government extended (Spanish, PDF) the country’s emergency electricity-saving measures another 60 days to ensure that hydro reservoirs have a chance to recover before the rationing is eliminated. This is one of the first times I’ve seen the government make people suffer a bit for long-term benefit. That said, the current decree expires six weeks before the September elections; I predict it won’t be renewed again at that time.

It’s hard to say what level Guri Lake is at right now, as the official electricity records have been offline every time I’ve checked them for the last few days. I guess we get only one economic indicator at a time?

Last I checked, a week ago, the reservoir was filling in a healthy way, with each day boosting water levels at about twice the pace that they declined in the dry season. In a normal year, with five months wet and seven dry, this would be a healthy recovery rate. However, after such a lengthy and deep dry spell, rains will have to get a lot heavier before the end of the year to fill the lake to a level that will allow the country to avoid even deeper rationing in 2011.