In the land of carnavals, I had read that some festivities had been cancelled because of the lack of water, so I knew something was wrong in Brazil. In fact, it is the worst drought in 84 years !
In the economic capital city of Sao Paolo, the 20 million inhabitants have access to tap water only two days a week ! RTCC has more on this extreme situation :
Some 17% of Brazilian towns have declared a state of emergency.
In the centre and southeast of the country, electricity supplies are threatened as water levels drop to 18% in the reservoirs for hydropower generation.
“We have never seen such sensitive and worrying situation as this,” admitted the minister of environment, Izabella Teixeira.
Rain scarcity, deforestation of the watersheds around streams and rivers, high consumption in the big urban centers and waste in the water supply system are some of the reasons for the crisis.
It has brought into sharp focus the political response to extreme weather patterns, which are only expected to get more volatile with climate change.
This is even more puzzlying, worrying and frightening, that as the New York Times notes :
Endowed with the Amazon and other mighty rivers, an array of huge dams and one-eighth of the world’s fresh water, Brazil is sometimes called the “Saudi Arabia of water,” so rich in the coveted resource that some liken it to living above a sea of oil.
Meanwhile, we have seen that deforestation of the Amazon rainforest is on the rise, after years of slowing down. If this is just the beginning of a climate changed era, it is indeed worth worrying. Time for action, time for carbon neutrality…