Intense rainfall put the city of São Paulo on an anti-flood alert until yesterday. Meanwhile, however, the city’s main water supply reservoir, the Cantareira Complex, is down to alarmingly low levels of water. Responsible for supplying water to over half of São Paulo’s metropolitan area of 20 million people, Cantareira is operating at 41 percent of its capacity, close to its 2013 levels – one year prior to São Paulo’s worst water crisis in a century.
During the 2014-2016 water crisis, rainfall was just half of the previous worst year on records, dating back to the early 20th century. By October 2014, Cantareira was at less than 7 percent of its volume – barely a month’s supply.