Sao Paulo’s largest water reservoir down to 5.6%

The Cantareira waterClimate change is expected to exacerbate current stresses on water resources from population growth and economic and land-use change, including urbanisation. On a regional scale, mountain snow pack, glaciers and small ice caps play a crucial role in freshwater availability. Widespread mass ... system, largest of the six reservoirs that provide water to 20 million people living in the metropolitan area of Sao Paulo, Brazil is at 5.6% (as of January 20) of its capacity of one trillion liters (264 billion gallons), as reported by the water utility Sabesp. During the first two weeks of January 2015 rainfall totaled 7.1 centimeters (2.9 inches), well below the average 27.1 centimeters (10.7 inches). This comes as a result of the worst droughtA period of abnormally dry weather long enough to cause a serious hydrological imbalance. Drought is a relative term, therefore any discussion in terms of precipitation deficit must refer to the particular precipitation-related activity that is under discussion. For example, shortage of ... Brazil has faced in 84 years.

In all, the reservoir has lost 1.6 percentage points of the stored volume of water from the first day of the year.

Reservoirs and rivers that provide water to millions have received less rainfallRain is liquid water in the form of droplets that have condensed from atmospheric water vapor and then precipitated—that is, become heavy enough to fall under gravity. Rain is a major component of the water cycle and is responsible for depositing most of the fresh water on the Earth. It ... than hoped for during the first weeks of the wet season, also seen by the state in other five water systems: Alto Tiete is at 11 percent of capacity, Rio Claro 25 percent, Alto Cotia 30 percent, Guarapiranga 40 percent and Rio Grande 70 percent. 

In 1960, the São Paulo state government decided to enhance the water supplyWater supply is the provision of water by public utilities, commercial organisations, community endeavors or by individuals, usually via a system of pumps and pipes. of the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo by constructing several reservoirs in the headwaters of Piracicaba River basin, creating the Cantareira System.

Number of days without rainRain is liquid water in the form of droplets that have condensed from atmospheric water vapor and then precipitated—that is, become heavy enough to fall under gravity. Rain is a major component of the water cycle and is responsible for depositing most of the fresh water on the Earth. It .... Image credit: INPE/CPTEC

Brazilian mega cities along the east coastCoasts are projected to be exposed to increasing risks, including coastal erosion, due to climate change and sea level rise. The effect will be exacerbated by increasing human-induced pressures on coastal areas (very high confidence). By the 2080s, many millions more people than today are ... like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are home to 80% of Brazilians, they rely on their own river basins and thanks to their rapid growth and development they find themselves water stressed. The estimates are that the regions that supply 73% of the country’s water needs could face shortages over the next decade. Brazil is the world’s leading exporter of soybeans, coffee, orange juice, sugar and beef, so these water stresses can also have a marked impact on the global food market.

​São Paulo climate graph in metric units. Image credit: Sao Paolo Climatemps

Deforestation of the Amazon could interfere with the forest’s function as a giant water pump. Trees lift vast amounts of moisture up into the air, which then circulates west and south, falling as rain to irrigate Brazil’s central and southern regions.

“Destroying the Amazon to advance the agricultural frontier is like shooting yourself in the foot. The Amazon is a gigantic hydrological pump that brings the humidityHumidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Water vapor is the gaseous state of water and is invisible. Humidity indicates the likelihood of precipitation, dew, or fog. Higher humidity reduces the effectiveness of sweating in cooling the body by reducing the rate of evaporation of moisture ... of the Atlantic Ocean into the continent and guarantees the irrigation of the region. Of course, we need agricultureCultivation of the ground and harvesting of crops and handling of livestock, the primary function is the provision of food and feed.. But without trees there would be no water, and without water there is no food.” Said Antonio Nobre, a leading climate scientist at INPE.

Tree cover loss in South America from August 2012 to present. Image credit: Global Forrest Watch

Sources: World Resources InstituteSao Paulo Climate Maps, Global Forrest Watch

Featured image: Aerial view of Sao Paolo, Brazil. Credit: chensiyuan/Wikimedia

Powered by WPeMatico

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar
wpDiscuz
Translate »
Support