Although heavy rainstorms may become more common, total rainfall is likely to decrease in the Caribbean region, especially during spring and summer. Warmer temperatures also reduce the amount of water available because they increase the rate at which water evaporates (or transpires) into the air from soils, plants, and surface waters. With less rain and drier soils, Puerto Rico may face an increased risk of drought, which in turn can affect public water supplies, agriculture, and the economy. For example, during the 2015 drought—one of the worst in Puerto Rico’s history—hundreds of thousands of people faced water restrictions, and some people’s water was turned off for one or two days at a time. (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2016).
This section provides insights into projected climate change impacts on various hydrological indicators.