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Sambodian Water Crisis | Musical Shares


Source: Folha de S.Paulo.

Topics: Drought, rationing, urban planning, informality, transparency

Video: How to replace a rooftop cistern swarming with larva … It is curious how little time the media has given to the usual civic drive to stamp out dengue this year — a job where the news media can really help. Without proper inspection of pooled water, however, the mosquito gets a head start. Globo reports that reported cases are up 57% this month. Headlines:

Federal government registered 40,196 cases of dengue last month

Health minister attributes expansion of dengue to hydrological factors

Our amateur videomaker is probably a better spokesman for the problem than the government. http://youtu.be/U1wrnSHH__A

Panic on the Periphery

A scene of desperation in the eastern periphery: A woman weeps because she has been without water for her family for 11 days, schlepping water from a relative who receives water only every five days and lives a number of blocks away.

The Folha reports:

Sobbing copiously, security guard Andreia Mafra Gentile, 38, opens the door of her apartment in Guaianases, on the eastern edge of the Sâo Paulo metro area, in order to show us how she has managed to live for 11 days without water. Flies buzz around the dirty dishes in the sink and the stench of accumulated run-off reaches through the windows of the low-cost residential condominium in Vila Hortência, 27 km from downtown São Paulo. Together with other neighbors, Andreia tried to take up a collection to rent a water tanker truck, but it didn’t work out. “Most of us don’t even have money to eat on.” Andreia says she has an infection and that her sheets are bloody when she wakens in the morning. With not a single a drop of water from the tap, she goes out with her two children — a daughter, 13 and a son, 11 — and walks about 1 km to fill up at the house of friends. Each of the children are carrying PET bottles, and Andreia lugs a 20 liter container. “If we economize, we use only 40 liters per day.”

No one has put together yet a Google Maps application that would allow users to report outages and refute official reports, where necessary. (I try a Google on “mapa rodízio são paulo água).” It is maddening trying to piece together when and where the water will be, even in this relatively upscale neighborhood of ours — where the crisis is much less severe. It occurs to me that Alckmin is telling those who did not vote for him that they can shift for themselves

– According to Sabesp experts questioned by the Estadão, an official water rotation scheme for access to water, if  restricted to neighborhoods supplied by the Cantareira system, could be a disaster. They believe that the measure would end up drainiing five other fountainheads that feed the metro area and create “hydrological refugee camps.” “The crisis has grown to such proportions that only in one or two systems can you rapidly transfer the runoff, because were are will be in a state of drought and they are much smaller than Cantareira”, explained former Sabesp official José Roberto Kachelm [who testified to a hearing at the state assembly last week. We might also use up five other fountainheads that supply the metro area, say experts and Sabesp officials. A formal system of rotating access to pressurized water from the tap that is restricted to waters from the Cantareira system would lead to the emergence of “hydrological refugees” and to the drying up of the other fountainheads supplying the area. This is the view of experts and officials of Sabesp interviewed by the Estadão. The newspaper  discovered that Governor Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB) believes that rationing is inevitable, but is still unsure of the scope of the model to be followed: (1) only in the Cantareira System, which covers the northern and central parts of the city; (2) in the Cantareira and Alto Tietê systems, which also includes the eastern zone; 3) In the greater metro area as a whole, 20 million of whose residents are supplied by Sabesp daily. As Globo reports: Representatives of the state government and Sabesp did not attend. Also absent were reprentatives of agencies specific to the sector, such as the Department of Water and Electriricy (DAEE) and the National Water Agency (ANA), as well as politicians from Alckmin’s legislative base of support. An official note from Sabesp gave rise to “mocking laughter” among area residents, reported both the ESP and the Folha.