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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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Rio Garbage Boats Aim to Clean Olympic Waters - With limited trash and sewage services in this sprawling metropolis of 6 million people, tons of garbage and raw waste flow daily from sludge-filled rivers into the bay, where Olympic and Paralympic sailing events will be held. At low tide, mountains of household refuse, old sofas and even washing machines are seen. Skimmer debris


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