A view of the favela at Sapopemba, São Paulo.
São Paulo is the largest city in the Western Hemisphere. in 2015 after very low rainfall in the rainy season, the level of water in the reservoirs supplying São Paulo dropped dramatically and the city announced a severe water shortage. A strict water rationing system was imposed.
Many wealthy people responded by drilling their own wells, or by leaving the city, but many poorer people built or installed water tanks, which they hadn't needed until then, to store water that came when the mains supply was turned on for short periods often in the middle of the night.
Megacities across the world have high levels of vulnerability, which is increasing as climate change and deforestation bring severe and prolonged droughts. Other examples of dramatic water shortages and drying reservoirs can be found across the US.
Christian Aid works with organisations that support community-based organisations in São Paulo.
- Sean Hawkey, all rights reserved
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- Water issues, Brazil