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Drought Hits Southeast Brazil
   2015-11-22 20:21:28    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: WangKun

File photo shows a Brazilian man was walking on a dry river bed in Manaus, Mexico which was haunted by a heavy drought on October 26, 2010. [Photo: Xinhua]

The entire southeastern region of Brazil is suffering from a severe drought that some experts attribute to climate change.

CRI's Tu Yun reports.

 

The southeastern region of Brazil includes Rio de Janeiro state and the city of Rio.

More frequent rains this year have helped improve water levels at some reservoirs slightly, but many areas are still short of water.

This is the region's worst drought in eight decades and reservoirs are at critically low levels.

The situation is causing water distribution problems and daily difficulties for residents such as Marilda Rodrigues Cavalo who lives in the Duque de Caxias municipality in Rio state.

"What is happening is that we have been without water for the last eight months, it has been eight months that we are not receiving water. There is water for other neighbourhoods or in other streets but not here. We have been suffering for eight months, and we have to buy water from the trucks, but that is very expensive."

Cavalo used to get water supplied to her house at least three times a week but now it's down to once a week or not at all.

Aside from drilling wells, people are also buying water from water tank trucks, but that is very expensive.

Marussia Whately, the coordinator for the non-governmental organization "Alliance for Water" said residents are feeling the pinch in the water supply because the National Waters Agency is enforcing restrictions in the distribution of water from a water treatment plant on the Guandu River in Rio de Janeiro.

"That region also suffered from the dry weather in 2013 and 2014, just like in Sao Paulo. But the impact in Rio de Janeiro is being felt now because the dry weather has accumulated. That situation is making the National Water Agency enforce some restrictions on the quantity of water going into Guandu River, and because of that restriction the lack of water is being felt now in Rio de Janeiro, and there will be less water available."

Asyet there is still no water rationing in place in Rio de Janeiro itself.

Climate change and economy expert Sergio Margulis said the government needs to take more action because "climate change is already hitting very hard."

"It is not raining like it used to rain - it is not with the same regularity, it is not with the same intensity, it is not in the same places. So, things are changing and so the government should be much more aware of these more frequently extreme events that are happening. It's all been projected with limitations, it's difficult to predict where exactly will be the next crisis, and how far it will extend, because it is too much rain or too little rain, etcetera butĄ­ climate change is already hitting very hard."

Some private companies are implementing their own measures to deal with the lack of rainfall.

The Santa Cruz Industries Association in the city of Santa Cruz takes water from the Sao Francisco channel, which itself receives water from Guandu River.

But the association said that low water levels have made it necessary to build a barrier to prevent sea water flowing in, so that they can keep drawing fresh water.

Now, the drought is starting to affect Sao Paulo state and the country's biggest city, Sao Paulo.

For CRI, I'm Tu Yun.

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