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The Drought In Brazil Has Gotten So Bad That 142 Cities Are Now Rationing Water

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Drought - Photo by Bert KaufmannDid you know that the drought in Brazil is so bad that some neighborhoods are only being allowed to get water once every three days?  At this point, 142 Brazilian cities are rationing water and there does not appear to be much hope that this crippling drought is going to end any time soon.  Unfortunately, most Americans seem to be absolutely clueless about all of this.  In response to my recent article about how the unprecedented drought that is plaguing California right now could affect our food supply, one individual left a comment stating “if Califirnia can’t supply South America will. We got NAFTA.”  Apart from the fact that this person could not even spell “California” correctly, we also see a complete ignorance of what is going on in the rest of the planet.  The truth is that the largest country in South America (Brazil) is also experiencing an absolutely devastating drought at the moment.  They are going to have a very hard time just taking care of their own people for the foreseeable future.

And this horrendous drought in Brazil could potentially have a huge impact on the total global food supply.  As a recent RT article detailed, Brazil is the leading exporter in the world in a number of very important food categories…

Over 140 Brazilian cities have been pushed to ration water during the worst drought on record, according to a survey conducted by the country’s leading newspaper. Some neighborhoods only receive water once every three days.

Water is being rationed to nearly 6 million people living in a total of 142 cities across 11 states in Brazil, the world’s leading exporter of soybeans, coffee, orange juice, sugar and beef. Water supply companies told the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper that the country’s reservoirs, rivers and streams are the driest they have been in 20 years. A record heat wave could raise energy prices and damage crops.

Some neighborhoods in the city of Itu in Sao Paulo state (which accounts for one-quarter of Brazil’s population and one-third of its GDP), only receive water once every three days, for a total of 13 hours.

Are you starting to see what I mean?

This is serious.

The drought in North America also continues to get even worse.  According to an expert interviewed by National Geographic, this drought in the state of California “could last for 200 years or more”…

B. Lynn Ingram, a paleoclimatologist at the University of California at Berkeley, thinks that California needs to brace itself for a megadrought—one that could last for 200 years or more.

As a paleoclimatologist, Ingram takes the long view, examining tree rings and microorganisms in ocean sediment to identify temperatures and dry periods of the past millennium. Her work suggests that droughts are nothing new to California.

A drought of even 10 years would absolutely cripple this nation.  Already, the size of the total U.S. cattle herd is the smallest that it has been in 63 years and California farmers are going to let half a million acres sit idle this year because of the extremely dry conditions.  If this drought persists for several more years we will have an unprecedented crisis on our hands.

Unfortunately, there are signs that this current drought in California may be part of a larger trend.  I had never heard of “the Pacific Decadal Oscillation” before this week, but apparently it is a phenomenon that can cause droughts that last “for decades“…

Ingram and other paleoclimatologists have correlated several historic megadroughts with a shift in the surface temperature of the Pacific Ocean that occurs every 20 to 30 years—something called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). The PDO is similar to an El Nino event except it lasts for decades—as its name implies—whereas an El Nino event lasts 6 to 18 months. Cool phases of the PDO result in less precipitation because cooler sea temperatures bump the jet stream north, which in turn pushes off storms that would otherwise provide rain and snow to California. Ingram says entire lakes dried up in California following a cool phase of the PDO several thousand years ago.

And of course it isn’t just the western half of the country that is struggling with water supply problems.  In the Southeast, water has been a major political issue for quite some time

The drought-parched states of Georgia, Alabama and Florida are back at it — fighting for a slice of water rights in a decades-long water war that’s left all three thirsty for more.

The 24-year dispute is emblematic of an increasingly common economic problem facing cities and states across the country – the demand for water quickly outpacing the supply as spikes in population soak up resources.

Most of us that live in the United States are accustomed to having seemingly inexhaustible supplies of fresh water.  We use more fresh water per capita than anyone else on the planet, and most of us never even think twice about it.

Unfortunately, things are changing.  We are on the precipice of a great water crisis, and many Americans are going to be in for a very rude awakening.

And the frightening thing is that the U.S. is actually in much better shape than most of the rest of the world is when it comes to supplies of fresh water.  In some areas of the globe, a “water crisis” is already a daily reality.

We have heard that someday water is going to become the “new oil”, and we are starting to get to that point.  Life is simply not possible without water, and as global supplies of clean, fresh water dwindle it is inevitable that it is going to cause global tensions to rise.

So what do you think the solutions to these problems are?

Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…

Drought - Photo by Bert Kaufmann

  • Desertrat

    Water waste–or frivolous use–in municipalities is far more common that most people notice. The US average inside-the-residence usage is some forty gallons per person per day. In summer, the city of Austin, Texas commonly treats well above 400 gallons per person per day–and there are no major water-using industries there.

    • Kim

      I agree. I was at a friends recently and she had her faucet on, then just walks away to answer her phone letting the water run right down the drain. I was like, uh, sweetie did u know you left the water on? I got up and turned it off.

      • Uh-hUh

        people in my area have been told by the “leaders” that they have to let the tap run because the weather is so cold, they are having problems with bursting pipes.

      • Silver Gonzales

        I do not trust “Kim”. She appears to be another stupid and ignorant Western female. Most likely a plant from CIA or NSA to monitor this site

        • K

          I do not think so. But I am not so sure about you. Wild unsupported statement, that is the habits of a paid shill.

        • Kim

          I know who u really are.

    • Linda Gray

      That’s all true, however 85% of California’s water goes to agriculture and only 15% to residential/urban use.. Some farmers are being told they’ll only get 5% of their usual water allotment this year. Even if everyone in every household did their utmost to conserve, it won’t change the current situation much.

      • Gail Strong

        Farmers are being told they are getting nothing now and several communities plan to limit homes to 50 gallons per day period. One of them is Willits, Ca, Another Redwood Valley, there is a third that has come out as well, but I don’t remember the name.

  • Nobody

    Steaming pile with regards to the US and Canada. What is the moron thinking ? We are experiencing a tremendous winter.. it ain’t sand that’s falling, Just wait till that snow melts in spring. The flooding will be pervasive and widespread. Then a lot of people will be dealing with Sand….Bags.. to keep the floodwaters away from their homes and property.

    • K

      Sorry, I have relatives on the west coast of the U.S.Their total snow so far is 3 inches. The problem in the U.S. is, the drought is happening in some of the main agricultural areas.

      • Quasar

        Stay tuned. Out here in California, we are poised to have our heaviest rainfall event of the season on Feb. 28th (this Friday).

    • nobody either

      No rain = no snow, genius. Or did you need us to draw you a picture? Learn some basic science f cktard. Bet you think eggs come from the egg plant lol

  • Kim

    I’ve been reading about the drought in Brazil. It’s very bad.

    I also get what u mean about so many Americans not having a clue about what’s going on. It’s like business as usual, no cause for alarm, nothing to see…

    I shared your recent article about food prices soaring and one response I received blamed the Federal government

    • JS20000

      A lot of people have too many immediate personal problems to wrestle with (financial, family, job, etc) that they do not have the time or inclination to focus on problems that are seemingly too distant to arouse concern. It is only when it directly affects them and them only that it should become everyone else’s focus as well. This is symptomatic of a society that has lost control and is turning inward to retreat from harsh realities beyond their control.

      • Kim

        I agree but they better wake up and make time for reality. These problems are not distant. They are upon us.

    • Gail Strong

      In the case of the California drought, the Fed government IS partially responsible. Plans to expand the California Water Project with additional reservoirs has been met with huge resistance by the tree huggers and because the democrats now controlling this state and are our national representives are so afraid to lose their jobs, they bow to King Green without thought. Additionally, Feinstein and Company closed off much of the water flow several years ago in concern for the Delta Smelt. California voters are to blame as well for not getting up in mass and complaining about the lack of action our state leaders have done. They have been so busy chasing Fed $$ to build fast rail from one downtrodden farm town to another (Stockton to Modesto) instead of sticking with the larger fundamental of water. They have been so busy welcoming illegals over the border with no plan to keep them from thirst. So yeah, planning DOES have a lot to do with it.

  • CynicalGuy42

    The water shortage in Brazil is disturbing, given that it is where rainforests are.

    • Eduardo

      Please notice the size of the country. As big as the US without Alaska.
      Rainforests, as well as the river Amazon, are in the North and Nortwestern part of the country.
      Economy and Agriculture tend to be located mostly in the Center-West, South and especially Southeast.

  • Tatiana Covington

    Desalination and fusion power. Problem solved.

    • Uh-hUh

      if desalination was even affordable, could you de-radiate the water too in an affordable manner?

      • Tatiana Covington

        I was speaking from 2065 or so.

  • Rodster

    The earth has finite resources. When you couple that with infinite economic growth you get mismanaged resources. Eventually your resources can’t keep up with population levels. Which is now happening in different parts of the world. When it comes to resources, China is very vulnerable.

  • Seen2013

    “Ingram and other paleoclimatologists have correlated several historic
    megadroughts with a shift in the surface temperature of the Pacific
    Ocean that occurs every 20 to 30 years—something called the Pacific
    Decadal Oscillation (PDO).” (qtd).

    This reads like the changes when the Cancer of Capricorn (grab a globe or atlas) when these deserts were once lush forests, and they were streaming with life until the surroundings changed to the point the rains rarely came or precipitation became the lowest for very long periods of time.

    What is also interesting is, Michael has posted about the Ring of Fire seemingly increasing activity in paraphrase. I bring this up because the two main camps here believe in:
    1). The Global Conveyer belt is altered by the lack of cycling. This depends on salt, temperature, and I think density (would have to double-check to be sure). Basically, cold water isn’t being heated, and the surface temp increases.
    2). The colder water is being heated faster; than, it is getting cooled to cycle.

    In both cases, the temperature rises, and the climate shifts accordingly. It also impacts the Hydrologic Cycle, and it impacts ice expansion. Most people don’t think warm water means more ice, but warmer means less dense that also means easier to freeze. Warm water will freeze faster because it is less dense than cold water. This one of the reasons the ocean’s depths get to crush depth; cold water is very heavy water. Heat rises, cold falls.
    This then gets into hypothesis’s of Convection as convection is believed to interact with Plate Tectonics (it is the mechanism), volcanoes including under water volcanoes and divergent boundaries. What isn’t clear is, subduction and convection’s interaction. The next issue here is hypothesis’s dealing with the interaction of convection and mantle hotspots; I’d say this is a major issue. It is believed that Yellowstone like Hawaii is fueled by a mantle hotspot.

    In terms of snow fall? Even if it’s a major snow like other areas, flooding damages crop yields, and this makes other problems.

    My 2 cents for what they’re worth.

  • DJohn1

    Seems Brazil has been destroying the Rain Forests for monetary gain and it has been going on for a long time. This in turn has changed the balance of nature so that the land is turning into arrid land. Same thing happened thousands of years ago in Egypt and the African lands. The result was the Sahara.
    It seems there was a lake on the Western side of Africa. An earthquake emptied the lake. No more rain over Africa. Thus the current situation with the Sahara.
    California needs to learn what has changed in their land that makes the current crisis in water happening. Then change it back.
    Easier said than done.
    We need some very innovative engineering and fast. We also need to curb the monsters we have formed in government. Such as agencies with run-away agendas. Agencies that have so many contradictory rules that no one really understands them.
    The simple answer is not wrong. Do away with the agencies and start over with simple rules that everyone can follow.
    That takes much of the power away from the agencies involved.
    We are going through several really complicated financial disasters. The drought is only one of a number of problems and it all concerns our continuing ability to have food at a price that everyone can afford.
    Basically the economy works if we have a legitimate food supply in abundance, a place to live, cheap transportation, adequate medical help when needed, and enough discretionary income so that the average person feels he is being rewarded for working for a living.
    Most of the above is now being destroyed.
    The drought is real. The problem is we are not dealing with it in a logical and decent manner involving all the people that it is likely too effect. So one day, the government will come to us and tell us we no longer are free to do what we want because of this terrible disaster that is upon us.
    It will start with flushing the toilet only once or twice a day. When disease hits, they will wonder why it is happening.
    I suggest we need to retire the idiots in the Congress that have allowed this to become worse than it really is by over regulation and an inefficient government not capable of handling the drought.

  • Olivia Wyatt

    If people would turn away from doing evil. Also every city in the drought should recycle grey water to water gardens, trees, etc. Instead of just letting the water run down drains, septic tanks, sewers, etc.

  • JasonD

    Michael,

    To be fair, the “i” is right next to the “o” on the keyboard…

  • Houtex77

    Wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes in divers places, floods, pestilence, lawlessness………………what could it all mean?

  • Margaret

    Desalination !

  • Jusayin

    Hmmmm .. R you ppl confused about cause and effect? How many square miles of water vapor generators (aka trees .. can u say rainforest?) have been removed from the Earth in just 75 years? /shakes head.

  • wdg

    The first thing the US needs to do is stop the invasion from Mexico and other third-world countries. You simply cannot handle an increasing population without a major reduction in your standard of living. As for regional droughts, they are cyclical and can last tens and even hundreds of thousands of years. In terms of global climates, the earth has been cooling since about 1998 and this is controlled mostly by a “quiet” sun, as evidenced by fewer sun spots, which results in a weaker magnetic field. A weaker magnetic field around the sun allows more cosmic radiation to bombard the earth causing the formation of clouds and lower surface temperatures.

  • kurt

    it would be very expensive but what about digging canals off of major rivers like the Mississippi and diverting that water towards the Colorado river and/or into large reservoirs. So much water gets wasted every year just flowing into the gulf; furthermore it would help prevent the rivers from over flooding during wet winters like the eastern US is having this year and causing a lot of damage.

  • kimmyc

    Could someone tell me why America is not objecting to bladders of water being taken from The Great Lakes to China to fill their aquifers and bottle (in plastic) to sell back to us?

  • michael

    Each year many Americans are killed by the weather.hundreds if not thousands more than are killed by terrorists. The average American creates more pollution per head than anyone else. so it would seem fair if some places have to suffer climate change America should be high among them.
    However America had the resources to defend itself from the weather which should now be seen as her real enemy, by building defences and improving the infrastructure. homeland security costs $60 billion a year plus…………to stop zero terrorist attacks. California has no water it will soon become a desert The evidence of climate change is overwhelming……………….More effort should be made to use tax payers money more wisely

    • K

      Sorry China passed us a few years ago.

    • Gail Strong

      You are behind the times michael. US has 1/6 the population of China and India, who are the biggest polluters at this time. And they done next to nothing about cleaning up their own issues.

  • A Dodgy Bloke

    Add a growing instability in the world, most Americans are only vaguely aware of if at all, and you have a makings of a first class social, political and economic mess. If it makes people feel better folks overseas are no more aware. There has been a series of floods in the southern UK, over the last couple of months. One of the news paper articles I saw (It was the Guardian) said ‘Is it time to join the preppers” I nearly fell out of my chair.

  • The Rain gods

    Hey Brazil! Listen up….They called it a rain forest for a reason! Why did you start cutting it all down? Stupid move on your part out of the name of greed now your people suffer!

  • Colin

    Climate is global. Weather is local. I don’t think many people understand the difference.

    I don’t know enough about other countries’ politics for me to judge how they are handling their environmental issues. I know that cities in China are blanketed by smog and that people are suffering.

    I believe that 2014 is an important year for our country. If the Republicans do win, as many predict, both houses of Congress, I believe that we see even less progress in addressing the issues that are facing our nation. I think the Republicans will be spending more time in obstructing President Obama and working on a grassroots effort supported by big money donors to bring a Republican to the White House in 2016. If a Democrat wins in 2016, he or she might as well set up a bed in the White House and sleep through the next four years for nothing that they propose will come about.

    So, is there a solution? My answer is no.

  • Quasar

    The solution? More global warming! A warmer atmosphere can hold more water vapor. Transport that water vapor over land, and the droughts can be broken. Increased droughts are a sign of global cooling.

  • george

    there is only one answer, and God said it Himself: “If any nation does not go up to worship the King (the Lord Jesus Christ), it shall have no rain.” Kick God out and drought is guaranteed.