Brazil’s Epic Drought May Cancel Carnival

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Brazil is in an epic drought. It effects São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro along with other large regions of the country.

According to the Wall Street Journal, it is the worst in 8 decades. “At least six cities have been hit by blackouts due to weak hydroelectricity generation and high demand for air conditioning as temperatures soar over 35C. In response, utilities are burning more fossil fuels, adding to the cost of energy and greenhouse gas emissions. The government acknowledged on Thursday that Brazil is also now importing power from Argentina to try to cover the shortfall.”

The main source of tap water in the large city of Rio is supplied by four reservoirs in the Paraiba system. The reservoirs are at about 1% which is the lowest in history.

The Canteira system supplies water to 6 of the 20 million people living in São Paulo. That reservoir is at 5.1% of its 264 billion gallon capacity. According to Fox News, water service to São Paulo may need to be cut back to 5 days per week with two days off as a “last ditch effort” to save the reservoir.  City council member Gilberto Natalini has called on the state governor and mayor to cancel Carnival.

 

Photo: Antonio Scorza / AFP – Getty Images

77 Comments

  • Reply January 29, 2015

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    I know it’s hard to fathom, but it’s actually 5 days without water and 2 days with. Which means that people in higher elevations may never get any water because by the time the pressure builds up enough to supply those locations, it will almost be time to shut off the service.

    here is a reference in Portuguese http://g1.globo.com/sp/mogi-das-cruzes-suzano/noticia/2015/01/sabesp-pode-adotar-rodizio-de-5-dias-sem-2-dias-com-agua-afirma-diretor.html

  • Reply February 5, 2015

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    Adriana, thank you for the correction. It will be revised. Indeed, hard to fathom.

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