Brazilian state suffers worst drought in 70 years

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, August 9, 2014
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Brazil's most populous state, Sao Paulo, is undergoing a serious drought due to the paltry rainfall during the December-to-February rainy season.

The drought is the state's worst in 70 years, said local daily The Globe. Several rivers in the rural areas are either much below the normal level or completely dry, deeply affecting the water supply and navigation.

According to the newspaper, over 3,000 waterway employees have been laid off in the past few months, 1,000 agricultural workers have been dismissed, and the fishery sector has also sustained considerable damage.

The drought has led to an estimated loss of 200 million reais (90 million U.S. dollars), the daily said.

The Cantareira water system, which provides water to Brazil's largest city, Sao Paulo, and its metro area, is at less than 16 percent of its capacity of one trillion liters.

The utility company started pumping water from deep underground reserves in May. Several towns in the state have been undergoing water rationing for the past few months.

This year, only a third of the usual rainfall arrived, with 9 inches (23 centimeters) falling during the rainy season.

The drought is expected to last until October or November, but it will take several months for the rivers in the region to return to their normal levels, if the precipitation reaches the average level during the next rainy season.

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