Juan G.R. Water crisis in southeastern Brazil, requires urgent and sustainable measures.
Water and Irrigation. Vol .: 6, No. 1: 4-5, March 2015, Spain.
Brazil suffers the worst water crisis of the century, and has two years of intense drought in the Southeast, causing huge economic losses. Affected States have a great economic development and contribute about 50% of the GDP of the nation, so that the duration of drought greatly affect the economy. Brazil has a big challenge and must cope with the changes of climate, characterized by more frequent and more intense weather events and should take the necessary measures to combat drought, flooding, water supply to cities, deforestation , environmental pollution, global warming, climate change and control of the high rate of population growth.
Brazil suffers the worst water crisis of the century, has two years of intense drought in the Southeast, which includes the states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and Espirito Santo, which together constitute an area of great importance of economic development for the country with about 80 million, representing 39% of the Brazilian population that now is 204 million. As a result of the climatic instability, on February 28 the city of Sao Paulo suffered major flooding from heavy rains that caused the death of a person, hundreds of evacuees, transport issues and economic losses. Brazil’s population in 1940 was only 46 million, indicating that it has increased by more than 4 times in just 75 years and this has contributed to overcrowding in the east of the country especially in the southeast, contributing to increased water demand, consumer goods and even increase the ecological footprint of man.
In the system of reservoirs that supply Sao Paulo waters are already well below normal levels and if no recover soon the population will suffer cuts of water daily to reach five days a week without water. It is considered that it will not rain enough, and the lack of water becomes a problem that affects not only the population but also to industry, tourism and agriculture. .The Solutions used in Sao Paulo until now are water shortages, increased water wells and tankers, but the problem of water scarcity tends to complicate more. According meteorology accumulated in the January rains are of 148 millimeters, which represent 55% of the historical average for the month. The country’s annual rainfall is 1800 mm.
The governor of Minas Gerais, Fernando Pimentel, has announced a severe rationing in the next three months if still not raining. The governor of Rio de Janeiro, Luis Fernando Pezao, maintains that his state was prepared for the crisis by building water works and discarded for now rationing, The State of Espírito Santo became the fourth in the southeastern region of Brazil in catch alert the local press due to water crisis that threatens water supply in cities, industries and agriculture, he said. The situation created led to Governor Paulo Hartung to ask the industrial federations that save water and seek alternatives for reuse and explore all possibilities to ensure supply of quality water to the population.
Water restrictions primarily affect the general population, public health, industry and agriculture, causing huge economic losses. Brazil has 26 states and a Federal District, but the affected states have great economic development and contribute about 50% of the GDP of the nation so that the duration of drought greatly affect the economy, which could further complicated if the drought intensifies and spreads to other regions. It also provides an increase in food prices, of staples and energy, which will affect inflation. The drought also affect the power, because in Brazil the production of electricity is based on hydropower,dependent water reserves which are already very close to its limit. To help avoid blackouts that left in the dark at 11 States, the government has resorted to power plants.
The Amazon rainforest occupies an area of 6.5 million km2 and is shared by 9 countries, with Brazil which occupies more area, but the forest is disappearing at an alarming rate, a rate of about 40,000 km2 / year indicating that with rate of destroying the Amazon will disappear soon due to many causes in which commercial felling of trees for furniture and as a feedstock for the production of cardboard and paper ranked first, followed in importance ranching and crops with unsustainable agricultural practices. Also the construction of highways, roads, no harmonious development of humanity itself and mining contribute to deforestation and the disappearance of wildlife environment. The Amazon rainforest is one of the lungs of the planet Earth and unsustainable in the changes will accelerate global warming and climate change on the planet.
Unsustainable deforestation brings the effect droughts more intense and longer, releasing more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, increasing global warming, more intense floods and elongated, which united the destructive effect of human activity, contribute together to accelerate climate change and its consequences, as well as pollution of the environment.Is necessary to develop a plan for long-term forestry is sustainable and protects the environment, fauna and flora, and not exacerbate problems of global warming and climate change. Brazil must confront climate changes, characterized by more frequent and more intense events and must take the necessary measures to combat drought, flooding, water supply to cities, deforestation, environmental pollution, global warming, climate change and control of the high rate of population growth.