Photo credit: The Guardian
Photograph: Andre Penner/AP
Sao Paulo’s water supply in ‘critical’ condition as drought bites
Crucial reservoir is down to 6% of its capacity and experts warn urgent steps must be taken after worst conditions for 80 years
Halfway through the rainy season, the key reservoir for the southern hemisphere’s largest city holds just 6% of its capacity, and experts warned Friday that Sao Paulo’s authorities must take urgent steps to prevent the worst drought in more than 80 years from drying it out.
The system of reservoirs and rivers that provide water to millions in the Brazilian metropolis have received less rainfall than hoped during the first weeks of the wet season, raising fears they will not be replenished as hoped. Rainfall during the first two weeks of January totalled just 7.1 centimetres, well below the historic average for the month of 27.1cm.
The biggest problem is in the Cantareira water system, which is the largest of six reservoirs that provide water to some 6 million of the 20 million people living in the metropolitan area of Sao Paulo city. Cantareira is now down to 6% of its capacity of 1tn litres, the water utility Sabesp said on its website.
Of the remaining five systems, Alto Tiete is at 11% of capacity, Rio Claro 25%, Alto Cotia 30%, Guarapiranga 40% and Rio Grande 70%.
Read the full article: The Guardian