[QODLink]
Weather

Drought bites in South America

From capybaras to coffee, a lack of water is having a severe impact across the continent.

Last updated: 25 Mar 2014 10:31
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Arabica bean production is concentrated in western Brazil where drought has hit production [EPA]

Drought is having a considerable impact on people, flora and fauna across South America.

Although the issue has been on-going for many months, recent scenes of wildfires raging in tropical rainforests of northern Colombia have illustrated the extent of the problem.

As rivers and lakes shrivel, herds of capybaras, the world’s largest rodent, have been seen gathering in huge numbers, awaiting the return of the rains.

In neighbouring Brazil, the wildlife appears to be less badly affected but the human population has suffered. More than 140 cities across the country have seen some sort of water rationing in recent months.

The southeastern city of Sao Paulo has experienced its worst drought in 50 years. Demand for water soared during January which was the hottest on record in the city.

Heavy rain during March has gone some way towards alleviating the situation but there are concerns of water shortages having an impact on the World Cup, with the city hosting its first game on 12 June.

Sao Paulo lies in the heart of the country’s robusta coffee bean production. Brazil is the world’s largest coffee producer, and the crop has been affected, causing future prices to soar by up to 50%.

Arabica bean production is concentrated in western Brazil, towards the border with Peru. Here too, drought has hit production.

Other crops have also been impacted by the lack of water. Cotton, sugar and orange crops have been hit and cattle farmers have also suffered the loss of many cattle and goats.

Long range forecasts indicate that the shortage of rainfall will continue until the end of May, particularly in the east of the country. The same region is also expected to experience above-average temperatures.

295

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.