(Bloomberg) -- Mayors of Colombia’s biggest cities, including Bogota, Medellin and Cali, ordered public officials to work normally on Friday, defying President Gustavo Petro’s call for a civic day to save water in the midst of a severe drought affecting the country.

“The need to change our habits and reduce our water consumption is not a matter of one day, it is a long term effort and must be sustainable over time,” Bogota Mayor Carlos Fernando Galan said in a post on X.

Medellin Mayor Federico Gutierrez echoed Galan’s statement, asking for responsibility in water and energy consumption. All the mayors who ignored the request won against Petro’s allies in last year’s regional elections.

Petro asked Bogota residents to leave the city over the weekend to ease pressure on its drought-hit water reservoirs.

The main reservoirs that provide water to Bogota dropped to 15.3% of total capacity on April 16, according to the mayor’s office. Colombia has been hit by a severe drought caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon, leaving the average reservoir levels across the country below 29% of total capacity, just above the “critical” level of 27% which could trigger power outages. 

Read More: Go and Drink Water Somewhere Else, Petro Tells Bogota Residents

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