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Three years of dry weather has led to Sao Paulo's largest reservoir to fall to critical levels

Reservoirs at critical levels in drought hit Brazil


Thursday, November 20, 2014, 11:52 GMT -

Despite recent wet weather in southern Brazil, the largest reservoir that feeds the countries biggest city, Sao Paulo, is at critical levels.

From high above the massive reservoir, large areas of dried, cracked land, dirt and mud cover expanses that should be overflowing in fresh water.

The Sao Paulo state-owned waste management company which provides water for much of the region, said water levels at the city's main reservoir, dropped to just 10% of capacity on Thursday.

This reservoir used to service 8.8 million people in greater Sao Paulo, but now only provides water for 6.5 million as other reservoirs have taken over some of its capacity.

The region is dealing with the worst drought in 80 years with annual rain amounts falling below adequate levels for three years, leaving other nearby reservoirs in crisis as well.

Many had hoped rainy weather at the start of the wet season, which typically runs from November until January, would bring much needed relief. However, the area has only see 90mm of rainfall over the last month, which is just over half of what would normally be expected.

Though rain from the wet season could provide temporary relief at least through January, the water problem will likely resurface next year, with few options to get more water in the medium term.

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