After 120 days with no rain, Brazil's capital city saw its longest drought spell since 2010. The Civil Defense of the Federal District, where Brasília is located, declared state of emergency as a result of the air humidity rate, which sank to 11 percent late in August.
Due to the drought, the Federal District, where Brazil's capital city is located, has been under a special water supply system since January, with a 48-hour regular period followed by a 24-hour interruption.
The routine has forced residents to change habits and go out of their way to save water. Kadiê Medeiros is the manager of a building with approximately a thousand people in Águas Claras, a city some 20km from Brasília's downtown area, and has implemented a number of measures to cut down on the building's consumption, like reducing the number of days for laundry and the use of more economical cleaning equipment. Services like the building spa are no longer allowed in days with interrupted water supply, and the schedule for car washing has been changed, with the high-pressure machine replaced with the eco washing, in which no water is used.
Every week, Medeiros and his team put up warnings on the elevator wall and send messages on WhatsApp groups about the importance of reducing water consumption in rationing days. The efforts are proving efficient, he believes. “Our tanks are enough to store water for up to 24 hours, and we've noticed that, in rationing days, the consumption has decreased, because we keep an eye on it and we see there's enough water left for us to wait for the water supply to return,” he said.
As an example, Medeiros also saves water in his own apartment, by adopting such measures as using buckets to store water from the shower before the water get warm enough, spending less time under the shower, and using water more parsimoniously while cleaning up. “Doing the big cleanup is virtually forbidden on rationing days, and we don't do any laundry either.”
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira
Fonte: After 120 days with no rain, Brazil capital sees longest drought since 2010