Brazil’s worst drought in 80 years has spread from Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro and beyond, affecting millions of people in the country’s most heavily-populated states. CCTV America’s Lucrecia Franco reported this story from Rio de Janeiro.
Brazil facing worst drought in 80 yearsBrazil's worst drought in 80 years has spread from Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro and beyond, affecting millions of people in the country's most heavily-populated states. CCTV America's Lucrecia Franco reported this story from Rio de Janeiro.
Taps have run dry at Ary Santana’s home in Rio de Janeiro’s west zone. The 77-year-old must now wash dishes with a plastic bottle of water, now that Rio’s main reservoir is operating at zero capacity.
“I’ve never seen anything like this. I have been living in this area for more than thirty years and it is the first time we are experiencing this problem. It is a major hassle,” Santana said.
The worst drought to hit Brazil since the 1930s is affecting the country’s most populated states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Minas Gerais. Officials in Sao Paulo said they may be forced to ration water if rains don’t come soon and limit water availability to just two days a week. Minas and Rio states are trying to avoid such drastic measures.
“We have at the minimum, using what we call dead-volume reservoirs, at least six months, not to change anything,” Andre Correa, Rio’s Environment Secretary said.
Conditions have recently escalated with scorching temperatures and no rain in sight. At the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, one of Rio de Janeiro’s landmarks, the water is slowly drying up.
Biologist Ricardo Nehrer said that national and local governments that count on rain as the only source of water, as well as the lack of water service maintenance, are to blame for the current predicament.
“All the water utilities in Brazil — and in the southeast is no different — have a huge amount of pipe leaks and this is a very serious problem,” Nehrer said.
This is supposed to be the rainy reason, and residents are at the mercy of the skies. Ary and his family have stored drinking water but have no idea how long their emergency supplies will need to last.
Nicole Oliveira of 350.org discusses drought in Brazil