Brazil’s Largest City May Soon Have Running Water Only 2-Days Per Week

February 11, 2015 • Daily Email Recap

Deforestation causing São Paulo drought

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Water rationing. Power cuts. Crop slumps. The past twelve months has seen Brazil being hit harder and harder by the effects of drought, as first São Paulo, then other regions of the country, struggle to cope with dwindling supplies of water but an immense demand. Local reservoirs are running at historic lows, such as the Cantareira system – which supplies water to over a quarter of the 20 million São Paulo residents and is currently down to only five per cent of its 264 billion gallon capacity. A ‘five-days-off, two-days-on’ rationing system is currently being proposed as a solution to prevent the reservoir running completely dry.

The proposed reasons for the drought are plentiful. Authorities have come under fire for their failure to upgrade and maintain the necessary infrastructure to stop water being stolen or wasted in transit, with as much as 37 per cent of tap water failing to make it successfully to the people who need it, according to recent government reports.

There is also the exacerbation of Brazil’s general water problems caused by population concentration around the coasts, as well as the role that wet and dry seasons play in creating seasonal variability, which places more pressure on governments to capture and store large volumes of water during periods of high rainfall.

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