AFP, January 28
Authorities in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s richest state and economic hub, have warned they are considering severe water rationing if the country’s worst drought in 80 years continues.
Officials outlined draconian plans for alternating cuts that would leave areas without water for five days at a time.
“If the rain persists in not falling into the Cantareira reservoir system, the solution would be for very heavy rationing,” said Paulo Massato, director of the state water company Sabesp.
Sabesp runs the Cantareira system, which supplies nearly half of the Sao Paulo metropolitan area, South America’s largest city with some 20 million people.
“The rationing would see two days with water and then five without,” he said late Tuesday.
Unless it rains soon, supplies could run out altogether by March.
Brazil Drought: Worst Water Crisis In 80 Years Affecting Four Million People In Country’s South East
IBT Times, January 25
Water cuts and blackouts have spread across large areas of south-east Brazil as a result of the worst drought in the country since 1930. The drought has hit Brazil’s three most populous states: São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Minas Gerais.
More than four million people have been affected by water rationing and power cuts. In the Madureira district of Rio residents have mounted demonstrations, beating empty buckets and cans to express their frustration. The district has been without tap water since before Christmas. Other cities have seen similar demonstrations.
The drought first hit in São Paulo, where hundreds of thousands of residents have had water supplies cut. The region should normally be experiencing its rainy season.
São Paulo state suffered similar serious drought problems last year. At an emergency meeting of five government ministers in the country’s capital, Brasilia, Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira says that the three states must save water.
“Since records for Brazil’s south-eastern region began 84 years ago we have never seen such a delicate and worrying situation,” said Teixeira.
SF Gate: First-ever rainless January in S.F. history