Brazil faces the worst drought in 80 years

Young boy carries water to his home in northeastern BrazilUnless the desperately needed rain arrive, São Paulo residents are being warned to "prepare for a collapse like they've never seen before."

Brazil is a country with 12 percent of the world’s fresh water supply and just 3 percent of its population, but it is at risk of running dry. Brazil is currently in the midst of the worst drought it has seen in eighty years, and there’s no sign of it letting up.

In the southern state of São Paulo, where 44 million people live, at least 14 million have been affected by the lack of water. There are days when people come home from work, turn on their taps, and nothing comes out.

Flávia de Souza Carvalho told the Washington Post, “We can’t shower, wash dishes, do laundry. I have a sink full of dishes because there’s no water coming out of the tap.”

Water has been scarce in the south for the past ten months, ever since the last rainy season produced only 40 percent of the usual amount of rain and failed to replenish adequately the rivers and reservoirs on which São Paulo depends. Satellite images from NASA show the significant difference in the depth of water reservoirs from August 2013 to August 2014.

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