Drought

Taps May Soon Run Dry in Drought-Plagued Brazil

Brazil’s worst drought in 80 years is causing an acute water shortage in the country’s three most highly populated states.

The company that provides São Paulo’s water warned that taps could run dry except for just two days a week if the level of the main reservoir continues to drop.

“If the rains insist on not falling, we’ll have to start rationing in a very burdensome way to save the water we need (and) to keep the dam levels from continuing to drop the way they are,” said the firm’s director, Paulo Massato.

The Cantareira reservoir, which serves Brazil’s largest city, has dwindled to about 5 percent of storage capacity following two consecutive dry years.

In an odd twist of fate, lightning from severe thunderstorms on Jan. 23 knocked out two pumping stations, halting delivery of what little water remains available to São Paulo.

A view of what’s left of southeastern Brazil’s Rio Jacarei following two consecutive years of drought.

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