Brazil finally gets some rain, but rationing still looms

Reuters reports on developments in Brazil’s drought:

Brazil's recent rainfall is unlikely to ease water rationing. Image credit: leonardobc on

Brazil’s recent rainfall is unlikely to ease water rationing.
Image credit: leonardobc on

Heavy rains during Brazil’s four-and-a-half-day Carnival holiday offered the first relief in months for the country’s drought-stricken and economically crucial southeast, but was unlikely to end fears of water and electricity shortages.

A cold front along Brazil’s southeastern coast near the two principal cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro brought heavy rains on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday to most of the region and the neighboring center-west, home to much of the country’s farm belt.


Despite the recent rains, precipitation will need to continue at above-average levels for months to refill nearly empty drinking water and hydroelectricity reservoirs to sustainable levels.

Water levels in reservoirs run by Sabesp, which manages most water and sewage services in the state of Sao Paulo, rose 0.8 percent from Tuesday to Wednesday but remained at only 20.4 percent of their total, Sabesp said.

Sabesp’s Cantareira reservoir system, which serves many of the nearly 20 million people in metropolitan Sao Paulo, rose 0.6 percent but remains at only 8.9 percent of capacity. The levels remained critically low despite above-average rainfall so far this month in Sao Paulo.

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