Disasters

Brazil Water Crisis Seen Worsening As Sao Paulo Nears ‘Collapse’

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Drought - Photo by Bert Kaufmann

Sao Paulo residents were warned by a top government regulator today to brace for more severe water shortages as President Dilma Rousseff makes the crisis a key campaign issue ahead of this weekend’s runoff vote.

“If the drought continues, residents will face more dramatic water shortages in the short term,” Vicente Andreu, president of Brazil’s National Water Agency and a member of Rousseff’s Workers’ Party, told reporters in Sao Paulo. “If it doesn’t rain, we run the risk that the region will have a collapse like we’ve never seen before,” he later told state lawmakers.

The worst drought in eight decades is threatening drinking supplies in South America’s biggest metropolis, with 60 percent of respondents in a Datafolha poll published yesterday saying their water supplies were restricted at least once in the past 30 days. Three-quarters of those people said the cut lasted at least six hours.

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