By Anna Buss for CounterPunch.org on June 17, 2021
While much of the Western United States is currently experiencing extreme drought-like conditions, Brazil is about to face its own water crisis. In Brazil, though, the destruction of the Amazon rainforest is directly causing diminished rainfall, compromising the country’s power grid system. The majority of the electricity produced and consumed in the country comes from hydroelectric power, about 65% in total. Also, this has interrupted the water supply and upended the nation’s agricultural industry – all of which will clash with an already weakened economy in the coming months. This ever-growing problem, aggravated by the impacts of climate change, can only be mitigated if bold environmental actions are enacted right now.
This year, Brazil recorded its lowest rainfall in the past 91 years, which has left most the country’s water reservoirs depleted. In fact, its largest reservoir subsystem, located in the Midwest and Southeast regions, is only 33% full compared to an average water volume of about 64% at this time of the year. To make matters worse, this subsystem is also responsible for 70% of the electric power generation capability for the area.
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