26 October 2015 (weather.com) – Brazil’s Amazonian rainforest has become a shadow of its former self as the worst drought the country has seen in 100 years continues.
Low levels of water in the Rio Negro have left boats stranded and isolated homes sitting in the middle of the large deserted landscape, reports Daily Mail. Locals are surviving with as little as small pools of water to live off of.
The main water supply in São Paulo has been running on emergency reserves, and the system is only able to deliver about 40 percent of its usual capacity. Before 2014, it was able to supply approximately 8,700 gallons of water per second, but now, it only delivers around 3,500 gallons per second.
Because two-thirds of Brazil’s power comes from hydroelectric power plants, electricity has also been in short supply. Widespread blackouts have hit the country’s largest cities, and increased energy rationing is a possibility, which could stunt the economy.
Navigation of rivers in the region has been impeded and delivery and shipments have become problematic. As a direct result, companies such as state oil company Petrobras are facing difficulties while trying to ship crude and natural gas, reports the Latin American Herald Tribune.
Petrobas has had to halt some of its tankers on the Rio Negro and the Solimões rivers until they become navigable and the navy allows ships to sail out to the oil fields. […]
Limited access to water has also caused issues amongst neighbors as they get into disputes during temporary shutoffs. Poorer areas of the city have just as bad or even worse luck, considering they have even less access.
“They have two hours of water on tap - the women don’t sleep because the water comes in the early hours of the morning, at around 4 a.m.,” said Martha Lu, a resident of São Paulo. “They don’t have water storage, so they have to stay awake because they don’t know when the water is coming again. They stay up to collect it in buckets and try to do laundry, it’s terrible.” [more]