Source: El País Brasil
São Paulo governor Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB) and Sabesp, the state-owned water and sewer company, have admitted for the first time, after a year of critical water shortages during an election cycle, that the state is suffering from water rationing and that the situation will worsen.
Newly appointed Sabesp CEO Jerson Kelman is even considering a rotation scheme: “We could arrive at the point [of implementing a rotation scheme]. We pray that we don’t have to.”
The best answer to a blistering water shortage, according to a senior executive engineer. is prayer. God save us from faith-based engineering.
The executive also announced that the company has expanded the hours of reduced water pressure, a practice not revealed until today but which has left thousands, mostly dwellers on high ground, without a water supply for hours on end.
Kelman admitted the initiative will affect even more people. “We have to be prepared for the worst,” the executive has repeatedly said after his appointment.
Although Alckmin states categorically that “rationing is now a reality,” Kelman cautoined that proper technical use of the the term requires that the entire population be affected, a point not yet reached. Kelman admitted that a citizen who goes six hours without water pressure is effectively subject to rationing.
Whips and Chains, Charlie Style
Source: Blog da Cidadania.
“Dirty blogger” Edu Guimarães suggests that the São Paulo population displays symptoms of sadomasochism in re-electing the same party of government over and over.
When, inexplicably, the Datafolha reports that 53% of São Paulo residents blame Dilma Rousseff and Fernando Haddad for the lack of water in the metro area, the willingness of the paulistas to put up with all manner of suffering imposed on them by the state government reveals an unhealthy relationship between the governor and the governed.
Three years, eleven months and 26 days from now, São Paulo governments of the PSDB will have completed 24 years in office. During this time, the condition of the state deteriorated visibly, especially from the economic point of view. But if you will permit me the pun, the herd-like acceptance of problems deriving from the carelessness of the state government in the area of water management betrays a sadomasochistic relationship leading to the bottom of a bottomless pit.
Geraldo Alckmin had just declared that “in practice, water rationing has been going on since last year.” The governor was answering a question about a legal ruling that would prohibit a 100% fine on the consumer whose consumption increases by 20% of the (questionable) average consumption set by the state.
The judicial ruling is based on Federal Law 11.445/207, the Sanitation Law, which demands the official adoption of rationing by state governments before they may fine consumers for excess usage — a proposition which makes no sense in the first place: fining consumers for consuming!
Even so, the good old PSDB establishment in the state courts over the past 25 years has more than once carried water for the Toucans. A decision by the super-Toucan presiding magistrate of the state high court, José Renato Nalini, annulled the decision of the lower court, that rationing must be decreed before consumers can be fined.
Yes, it looks to me like they are planning to apply a tax or fine to cases that existed before any official definition of a duty to follow them.
And now here is Alckmin on the TV slapping the population in the face with the announcement that rationing exists, when it actually doesn’t. During the afternoon of January 15, the Internet news portals published the story that the governor had admitted for the first time that São Paulo was subject to rationing. That night, during the evening newscast, however, he turned around and denied the existence of rationing, referring instead to a “hydric restriction.”
What is most revolting to me is how the state governor throws the problem of responsibility in the lap of the federal government, but does not admit his own. His shameless speech on the subject is as follows:
[He speaks as] if the reduction in water pressure by Sabesp, leaving citizens high and dry, originated with the ANA. He behaves as though the reduction of pressure in periods of severe water shortage is not the definition of rationing.
But Alckmin, even as he admits rationing with the ability to fine the consumer who, out of an excess of sadomasochism, elected him, says that there is no rationing because Sabesp “only” reduces pressure; it does not turn off the taps. But the result for the consumer is the same: no water from the faucet.
It is worth recalling a group that filed a legal action against Toucan rationing: the consumer advocacy group Proteste, which is set to appeal the ruling of the state high court to a federal court of appeal. It is therefore possible that the decision to collect the fine without a law implementing rationing may be overturned.
Filed under: Brazil