Brazil faces massive water shortages during worst drought in 84 years

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Brazil’s record drought has dried up once plentiful reservoirs to seriously low levels, causing the country’s most populous city of Sao Paulo to consider having their water turned off five days a week

Thanks to changing weather patterns, and deforestation of watershed areas, many parts of Brazil are experiencing severe drought conditions.”

Hardest hit is the southeast coast, home to Sao Paulo, the country’s most populated city with 20 million residents in the region. It’s explosive population growth coupled with river pollution, leaky pipes, and deforestation have caused already lean water supplies to become scarce.


Electrical services are also in danger as well since hydroelectric power makes up a sizeable amount of the power generation. Once reservoirs drop below 18% capacity, they will cease to generate power.”

The situation has officials scrambling to come up with solutions in the wake of the looming danger. São Paulo governor Geraldo Alckmin may implement a drastic plan to provide running water only two days a week, much to the dismay of area residents who claim they weren’t informed about the gravity of the situation during October 2014’s elections. It may have swayed voters into action.

The lack of water shortage also raises the risk of power blackouts, since some 80% of Brazil’s electricity comes from hydropower plants. Some 17% of Brazilian towns have declared a state of emergency in the face of the drought, forcing many of them to cancel their plans for Carnival festivals.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
Extent of drought conditions on map of Brazil.
A woman using the water in her kitchen, but the water pressure suddenly drops.
The water pressure being lowered to cope with the water shortages.
A timelapse view of the water drying up at a reservoir to only 18% capacity and the environmental effects.
A woman using the water in her kitchen, but none comes out and suddenly there is a blackout.
Infographic of the stricter restrictions that may be imposed if conditions don’t improve.

VOICEOVER (in English):


“Thanks to changing weather patterns, and deforestation of watershed areas, many parts of Brazil are experiencing severe drought conditions.”

“Hardest hit is the southeast coast, home to Sao Paulo, the country’s most populated city with 20 million residents.”

“Explosive population growth coupled with river pollution, leaky pipes, and deforestation have caused already lean water supplies to become scarce.”

“Electrical services are also in danger as well since hydroelectric power makes up a sizeable amount of the power generation. Once reservoirs drop below 18% capacity, they will cease to generate power.”

“Because of this, Sao Paulo residents could see running water offered only twice a week on a rolling basis, along with rolling brownouts and blackouts.”

SOURCES: RTCC, NY TIMES, REUTERS

http://www.rtcc.org/2015/02/16/brazil-faces-water-rationing-amid-worst-drought-in-84-years/
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/17/world/americas/drought-pushes-sao-paulo-brazil-toward-water-crisis.html?_r=0#slideshow/100000003509071/100000003516643
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/02/11/us-brazil-drought-idUKKBN0LF1YP20150211