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Brazil's Epic Water Crisis a Global Wake-up Call
One of the world's biggest cities is running out of water. Sao Paulo, a city of 20 million people, could run dry within weeks. The humanitarian and economic cost would be immense. The fiasco should be a global wake-up call for other metropolises.

The immediate cause of the crisis is a year-long drought. The Cantareira reservoir system that supplies around a third of the city's population is so low that Sabesp, the local utility, has to dip into and treat sediment-heavy supplies and pipe water in from other sources.

It's the worst dry spell in the region since record-keeping began more than 80 years ago. Other parts of Sao Paulo state and Brazil have been hit, too, though not as harshly. It may look like an aberration, but the planning for the disaster has been poor - and offers important lessons.


 
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Duckweed-to-Ethanol - In a drive for energy independence and a need for cleaner fuel alternatives the search is on for the next ethanol feed-stock. Grasses, sugar cane and corn are all currently used to create ethanol, and the next new feed-stock could be floating in your lake.


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