Drought is one of the biggest problems we can expect with global warming and Brazil is already in the thick of that problem. This colourful nation is facing its worst drought in a century, with some forgoing laundry and other water based needs as a result.
Brazil has its fair share of rainforests so it’s hard to imagine how it could be suffering from a drought. This is very much the case however and the problem shows no sign of abating. In fact Sao Paolo is trying frantically to conserve water as reservoirs are lower than ever and threatening to be completely empty by August. In one of the world’s most populous cities, the consequences are unthinkable.
This is a place with over ten percent of the world’s fresh water supplies, yet it is drying up at an alarming rate. The causes of the problem in Brazil are those we hear about the most often, the change in the climate we are all experiencing, increasing urbanisation, pollution of the water that is there and deforestation. National Geographic note that these issues are crippling water supplies in the biggest cities and as more forests fall, the problem will worsen. Clouds don’t form the same way when the forests are gone and if it is one thing cities like Rio need, it’s clouds – and lots of them. With the trees being cut away however, they can’t produce the moisture to have an impact.
One good measure Brazil has put in place is to get 80% of it’s energy from hydropower. The drought however has a bad impact here, threatening the ability to even produce power for people. A weakened energy sector in conjunction with a historically bad drought could have terrible consequences for Brazil.
The social impact of this is already becoming an issue and protests on the streets have been reported. It’s Brazil today, it’s Europe tomorrow. As these problems begin from far away they will eventually make their way to everyone’s shores. We need to act as one and we need to do so now, before survival becomes the basic issue. This is not Brazil’s problem it is our problem.