Climate change, water shortage, clean drinking water, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Protests during a drought that is the worst in 80 years

The Northeast and Central-West in Brazil are the most severely affected areas in 2017, but São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, overcame the biggest water crisis in its history one year ago, an ordeal that began in January, 2014.

In March 2017, Over 850 Brazil cities were facing major water shortage issues

Professor Sérgio Koide, from the University of Brasília (UnB) Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, sayd the water crisis is sparked by the climate, but also argues that poor planning makes the safety gap between supply and demand alarmingly narrow.

“With good planning and investment, an administration can be successful even in face of scarce resources.”

Not only Brazil suffers from dehydration. Recent reports from the UN’s IPCC and the White House are showing that water scarcity will hit hundreds of millions of additional people by 2100. And Tokyo is already on top of the list of world cities facing clean water supply.


Discussion about this subject did go viral started a discussion in the LinkedIn group ‘Green Cities’, which went viral in a couple of daysIn 2 weeks nearly:

  • a hundred comments from involved people gave their comments
  • people from the USA, Europe, Latin America, South Africa, India, Canada and the Middle East reacted
  • amongst the discussion members there are all kind of specialists: from entrepreneurs, architects, investors, creatives and scientists to governmental members
  • because the group happened to be ‘full’ and we heard more people would like to join the discussion, BetterWorldSolutions asked the group master to increase the amount of group members.


What’s next?

Most of the members want to take action. Not only for Sao Paulo but for a lot of area in the world. Open the whitepaper ‘Set of Actions’ in the sidebar right.

That’s why BetterWorldSolutions made an inventory of the discussion highlights, bundled the knowledge and solutions in ‘white papers’. Have a look on the sidebar, right on this page.



Hopeful lessons from the battle to save rainforests


The dramatic São Paolo water supply is selected at six points. All are in single reservoir Jacarei and Jaguari, the principal of the spring. The scenes of the “before” are May 2012. The “after”, April 2014, date of the last update made by Google. That month, the reservoir was filled with less than 12% of usable volume. In October 2014, is was even worser: -13%. Three quarters of the first batch of dead volume have been used (also see how the situation could get worse).


water, Crisis, Power Crisis, Brazil, hydro, climate change, amazon, deforestation

During the rainy season Jan – March 2015, only a few drops fell in Sao Paulo

Febr 2015: catastrophic scenario

Brazil: If Brazil doesn’t have quickly, a lot of rain, states like Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo will be out of water in 2015. A catastrophic scenario in areas where millions of people live close to each other.

According to experts, the lack of rain is due to the deforestation of the Amazon and climate change. Also, Water Companies have failed to do the necessary investments, because 40% of the available water is lost because of leaking pipes.


20 million inhabitants

In the metropolis of Sao Paulo, with it’s 20 million inhabitants the largest of Brazil, the deficits have been palpable for more than a year. The crisis will spread out to other southern states like Rio and Minas because the rainy season has been nearly finished and the reservoirs are almost empty.


Brazil Government

The government has ignored the problems for a long time. Only recently they started campaigning to raise awareness about water use. Since 2015, solutions are considered at the federal level. And not just for drinking water shortage. The water crisis also leads to an energy crisis.


Dengue fever

In addition, the number of cases of dengue have increased with 50%. This increase occurs mainly in Sao Paulo, where the population keeps water in buckets and barrels for days, nothing comes out of the tap. Buckets are an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes.



All dossiers



Climate change and water


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  1. support says:

    Suggestions of new technologies to supply clean, fresh water to (poor) communities all over the world

    In a discussion we asked for clean water products and technologies that will help overcome the scarcity of clean, fresh water. We have got many reactions. This is a short list.

    Inoke Mo’unga from the small Island Tonga, sanitizes rainwater tanks WITHOUT using chemicals.

    Water Saving Solutions – Massimiliano Montesi generates water from the air

    Michael Thomas recommended the Warka Water Tower which provides remote villages about 25 gallons of clean drinking water per day from the air

    Eros Kaw mentioned Biocleaners. “If its sanitation plus drinking water….well, it has to be cheap. cheap to own and cheap to operate. It is used to clean polluted rivers till the water is clean enough for drinking”

    Cryodesalination is meant because waters high in sulphates, can be treated using Barium salts to precipitate out barium sulphate. Recovering the Barium, sulphur and lime may generate sufficient revenue to pay for the whole process. Ian Pearson

    We also liked the product of Bhaskar Mallimadugula. He suggests a product to grow Diatom Algae in lakes and reservoirs. A ‘waste to wealth’ solution that keeps the lakes and reservoirs clean, reduces bacteria, mosquitoes and increases fish catch (diatoms are the best food for fish).

    Know this? Wastewater turns into usable fresh water through Bio-Solar Purification: based on the combination of sun on photosynthetic microflora in tubular photo-reactor. By Laurent Sohier

    Greg Chick came with a simple but maybe effective idea of local pedal driven pump stations supplied with a filter to pressure dispense drinking water. Can he cooperate with you?

    Read more

  2. Jagadish Shukla says:

    A coupled numerical model of the global atmosphere and biosphere has been used to assess the effects of Amazon deforestation on the regional and global climate.

    When the tropical forests in the model were replaced by degraded grass (pasture), there was a significant increase in surface temperature and a decrease in evapotranspiration and precipitation over Amazonia.

    In the simulation, the length of the dry season also increased; such an increase could make reestablishment of the tropical forests after massive deforestation particularly difficult.

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