Drought continues to worsen in Sao Paulo

The economic heart of Brazil is desperate for rain.

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    The dropping water levels in the reservoirs reveal debris, including several dumped or stolen cars. [Reuters]
    The dropping water levels in the reservoirs reveal debris, including several dumped or stolen cars. [Reuters]

    The drought in Sao Paulo is showing no sign of easing.

    The major reservoir, the Cantareira Reservoir, in the city has now dropped to a record low level, meaning that water rationing is in effect in some neighbourhoods. The Cantareira Reservoir supplies water to about half of the population of Sao Paulo, which is more than nine million.

    It is not only the reservoirs which are suffering. The Pousada Toca das Maritacas is a resort on the edge of the Jaguari dam, in the outskirts of the city.

    Normally it is a lakeside resort, but this year the dam has dried up, meaning the tourists are staying away. Businesses in the region, including the restaurants and hotels are suffering.

    To overcome the problems of water rationing, some individuals have taken to digging their own wells, with well-drilling companies reporting a 70 to 80 percent growth in business.

    However, this is not a long term solution that will help the overall situation; what is needed is rain, and lots of it.

    The rains in Sao Paulo are normally heaviest in the summer, between October and March. The concern is that if the rains this summer fails, by March the city could be facing a major water crisis.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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