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Sao Paulo, Brazil is running out of water

Photo courtesy: Júlio Boaro/Flickr

Photo courtesy: Júlio Boaro/Flickr

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Thursday, August 14, 2014, 4:52 PM - The worst drought in 84 years in Brazil's Sao Paulo region is forcing authorities to take drastic measures.

Earlier this week officials had to place water pumps below the gates of the city's main reservoir after levels became to low for the water to flow on its own.

It's the second time this year the pumps have been used.

Federal prosecutors are demanding state authorities establish water rationing protocols to prevent the reservoir from running dry.

This year's wet season was below average, with some areas receiving only a third of the expected rainfall. According to Brazil's Public Ministry, the Cantareira watershed, which supplies water to about 45% of Sao Paulo's population, is less than 100 days from running out of water.

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Residents say that slow government response has exacerbated the problem, arguing that officials have been preoccupied with the World Cup games and the presidential elections.

Local media has reported that two million of Sao Paulo state's 44 million residents are experiencing water outages that can last for days.

"All we have left to hope is for rain. Without rainfall, we have no options," Jose Carlos Mierzwa, a University of Sao Paulo professor told the Associated Press.

Photo courtesy

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