Arquivo da tag: Seca

California Drought Is Made Worse by Global Warming, Scientists Say (New York Times)

Visitors along the recessed shores of Beal’s Point in California’s Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. A new study has found that inevitable droughts in California were made worse by global warming. CreditDamon Winter/The New York Times 

Global warming caused by human emissions has most likely intensified the drought in California by 15 to 20 percent, scientists said on Thursday, warning that future dry spells in the state are almost certain to be worse than this one as the world continues to heat up.

Even though the findings suggest that the drought is primarily a consequence of natural climate variability, the scientists added that the likelihood of any drought becoming acute is rising because of climate change. The odds of California suffering droughts at the far end of the scale, like the current one that began in 2012, have roughly doubled over the past century, they said.

“This would be a drought no matter what,” said A. Park Williams, a climate scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and the lead author of a paperpublished by the journal Geophysical Research Letters. “It would be a fairly bad drought no matter what. But it’s definitely made worse by global warming.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also reportedThursday that global temperatures in July had been the hottest for any month since record-keeping began in 1880, and that the first seven months of 2015 had also been the hottest such period ever. Heat waves on several continents this summer have killed thousands of people.

Dry grassland south of the El Dorado Freeway near Folsom, Calif. The study credited human-caused climate change for between 8 percent and 27 percent of the state’s soil moisture deficit. CreditDamon Winter/The New York Times 

The paper on the California drought echoes a growing body of research that has cited the effects of human emissions, but scientists not involved in the work described it as more thorough than any previous effort because it analyzed nearly every possible combination of data on temperature, rainfall, wind speed and other factors that could be influencing the severity of the drought. The research, said David B. Lobell, a Stanford University climate scientist, is “probably the best I’ve seen on this question.”

The paper provides new scientific support for political leaders, including President Obama and Gov. Jerry Brown of California, who have cited human emissions and the resulting global warming as a factor in the drought. As he races around his battered state, from massive forest fires to parched farms, Mr. Brown has been trying to cajole the Republican presidential candidates into explaining what they would do about climate change.

“To say you’re going to ignore that there’s a huge risk here, the way we’re filling the atmosphere with heat-trapping gases, is folly, ignorance and totally irresponsible,” Mr. Brown said Thursday in a telephone interview. “And virtually the entire Republican Party in Congress is saying exactly that. It’s inexplicable.”

Several Republican presidential candidates, including Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Gov. John R. Kasich of Ohio, do acknowledge that climate change poses risks, but they are skeptical of the way Mr. Obama has gone about trying to limit emissions, with a planexpected to force the shutdown of many coal-fired power plants.

Chris Schrimpf, a spokesman for Mr. Kasich, said Thursday that political leaders confronting questions about climate change “can’t stick their heads in the sand and pretend it isn’t happening. Instead we need to be about the business of taking action, but action that doesn’t throw the economy and jobs out the window at the same time.”

However, many of the leading Republican candidates are openly skeptical of climate science and play down the risks. In response to a letter from Mr. Brown asking about their plans, several of the candidates retorted last week that California should be building more dams to store water for future droughts. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas said that “alarmists” about global warming were trying to gain “more power over the economy and our lives.”

report this week by researchers at the University of California, Davis, projected that the drought would cost the California economy some $2.7 billion this year. Much of that pain is being felt in the state’s huge farming industry, which has been forced to idle a half-million acres and has seen valuable crops like almond trees and grape vines die.

As climate scientists analyze the origins of the drought, they have been tackling two related questions: What caused the dearth of rain and snow that began in 2012? And, regardless of the cause, how have the effects been influenced by global warming?

The immediate reason for the drought is clear enough: For more than three years, a persistent ridge of high pressure in the western Pacific Ocean has blocked storms from reaching California in the winter, when the state typically gets most of its moisture. That pattern closely resembles past California droughts.

Some scientists have argued that the ocean and atmospheric factors that produced the ridge have become somewhat more likely because of global warming, but others have disputed that, and the matter remains unresolved.

On the question of the effects, scientists have been much clearer. Rising temperatures dry the soil faster and cause more rapid evaporation from streams and reservoirs, so they did not need any research to tell them that the drought was probably worse because of the warming trend over the past century. The challenge has been to quantify how much worse.

The group led by Dr. Williams concluded that human-caused climate change was responsible for between 8 and 27 percent of the deficit in soil moisture that California experienced from 2012 to 2014.

But, in an interview, Dr. Williams said the low number was derived from a method that did not take account of the way global warming had sped up since the 1970s. That led him and his colleagues to conclude that climate change was most likely responsible for about 15 to 20 percent of the moisture deficit.

Since 1895, California has warmed by a little more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit. That increase sounds small, but as an average over an entire state in all seasons, scientists say, it is a large number. The warmer air can hold more water vapor, and the result is that however much rain or snow falls in a given year, the atmosphere will draw it out of the soil more aggressively.

“It really is quite simple,” said Richard Seager, a senior climate scientist at Lamont and a co-author on the Williams paper. “When the atmosphere is as warm as it is, the air is capable of holding far more water. So more of the precipitation that falls on the ground is evaporated, and less is in the soil, and less gets into streams.”

Dr. Williams calculated that the air over California can absorb about 8.5 trillion more gallons of water in a typical year than would have been the case in the cooler atmosphere at the end of the 19th century. The air does not always manage to soak up that much, however, because evaporation slows as the soils dry out.

How much more California will warm depends on how high global emissions of greenhouse gases are allowed to go, but scientists say efforts to control the problem have been so ineffective that they cannot rule out another 5 or 6 degrees of warming over the state in this century, a level that could turn even modest rainfall deficits into record-shattering droughts.

For politicians like Mr. Obama and Mr. Brown, the emerging question is whether Americans will awaken to the risks and demand stronger action before emissions reach such catastrophic levels.

“I don’t think climate change is anywhere near the issue that it’s going to be, but the concern is rising in the public mind,” Mr. Brown said Thursday. “The facts can’t be concealed forever.”

Europe hit by one of the worst droughts since 2003 (Science Daily)

Date:
August 20, 2015
Source:
European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC)
Summary:
Much of the European continent has been affected by severe drought in June and July 2015, one of the worst since the drought and heat wave of summer of 2003, according to the latest reports.

Areas with the lowest soil moisture content since 1990 in July 2015 (in red) and in July 2003 (in blue). Credit: JRC-EDEA database (EDO). © EU, 2015

Much of the European continent has been affected by severe drought in June and July 2015, one of the worst since the drought and heat wave of summer of 2003, according to the latest report by the JRC’s European Drought Observatory (EDO). The drought, which particularly affects France, Benelux, Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, northern Italy and northern Spain, is caused by a combination of prolonged rain shortages and exceptionally high temperatures.

Satellite imagery and modelling revealed that the drought, caused by prolonged rainfall shortage since April, had already affected soil moisture content and vegetation conditions in June. Furthermore, the areas with the largest rainfall deficits also recorded exceptionally high maximum daily temperatures: in some cases these reached record values.

Another characteristic of this period was the persistence of the thermal anomalies: in the entire Mediterranean region, and particularly in Spain, the heat wave was even longer than that of 2003, with maximum daily temperatures consistently above 30°C for durations of 30 to 35 days (even more than 40 days in Spain).

While sectors such as tourism, viticulture and solar energy benefited from the unusual drought conditions, many environmental and production sectors suffered due to water restrictions, agricultural losses, disruptions to inland water transport, increased wildfires, and threats to forestry, energy production, and human health.

Rainfall is urgently needed in the coming months to offset the negative impacts of the 2015 drought situation. The current seasonal weather forecast envisages more abundant rains for the Mediterranean region in September, but no effective improvement is yet foreseen for parts of western, central and eastern Europe.

California drought causing valley land to sink (Science Daily)

Date:
August 20, 2015
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
As Californians continue pumping groundwater in response to the historic drought, the California Department of Water Resources has released a new NASA report showing land in the San Joaquin Valley is sinking faster than ever before, nearly 2 inches (5 centimeters) per month in some locations.

Total subsidence in California’s San Joaquin Valley for the period May 3, 2014 to Jan. 22, 2015, as measured by Canada’s Radarsat-2 satellite. Two large subsidence bowls are evident, centered on Corcoran and south of El Nido. Credit: Canadian Space Agency/NASA/JPL-Caltech

As Californians continue pumping groundwater in response to the historic drought, the California Department of Water Resources has released a new NASA report showing land in the San Joaquin Valley is sinking faster than ever before, nearly 2 inches (5 centimeters) per month in some locations.

“Because of increased pumping, groundwater levels are reaching record lows — up to 100 feet (30 meters) lower than previous records,” said Department of Water Resources Director Mark Cowin. “As extensive groundwater pumping continues, the land is sinking more rapidly and this puts nearby infrastructure at greater risk of costly damage.”

Sinking land, known as subsidence, has occurred for decades in California because of excessive groundwater pumping during drought conditions, but the new NASA data show the sinking is happening faster, putting infrastructure on the surface at growing risk of damage.

NASA obtained the subsidence data by comparing satellite images of Earth’s surface over time. Over the last few years, interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) observations from satellite and aircraft platforms have been used to produce maps of subsidence with approximately centimeter-level accuracy. For this study, JPL researchers analyzed satellite data from Japan’s PALSAR (2006 to 2010); and Canada’s Radarsat-2 (May 2014 to January 2015), and then produced subsidence maps for those periods. High-resolution InSAR data were also acquired along the California Aqueduct by NASA’s Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) (2013 to 2015) to identify and quantify new, highly localized areas of accelerated subsidence along the aqueduct that occurred in 2014. The California Aqueduct is a system of canals, pipelines and tunnels that carries water collected from the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Northern and Central California valleys to Southern California.

Using multiple scenes acquired by these systems, the JPL researchers were able to produce time histories of subsidence at selected locations, as well as profiles showing how subsidence varies over space and time.

“This study represents an unprecedented use of multiple satellites and aircraft to map subsidence in California and address a practical problem we’re all facing,” said JPL research scientist and report co-author Tom Farr. “We’re pleased to supply the California DWR with information they can use to better manage California’s groundwater. It’s like the old saying: ‘you can’t manage what you don’t measure’.”

Land near Corcoran in the Tulare basin sank 13 inches (33 centimeters) in just eight months — about 1.6 inches (4 centimeters) per month. One area in the Sacramento Valley was sinking approximately half-an-inch (1.3 centimeters) per month, faster than previous measurements.

Using the UAVSAR data, NASA also found areas near the California Aqueduct sank up to 12.5 inches (32 centimeters), with 8 inches (20 centimeters) of that occurring in just four months of 2014.

“Subsidence is directly impacting the California Aqueduct, and this NASA technology is ideal for identifying which areas are subsiding the most in order to focus monitoring and repair efforts,” said JPL research scientist and study co-author Cathleen Jones. “Knowledge is power, and in this case knowledge can save water and help the state better maintain this critical element of the state’s water delivery system.” UAVSAR flies on a C-20A research aircraft based at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center facility in Palmdale, California.

The increased subsidence rates have the potential to damage local, state and federal infrastructure, including aqueducts, bridges, roads and flood control structures. Long-term subsidence has already destroyed thousands of public and private groundwater well casings in the San Joaquin Valley. Over time, subsidence can permanently reduce the underground aquifer’s water storage capacity.

“Groundwater acts as a savings account to provide supplies during drought, but the NASA report shows the consequences of excessive withdrawals as we head into the fifth year of historic drought,” Director Cowin said. “We will work together with counties, local water districts, and affected communities to identify ways to slow the rate of subsidence and protect vital infrastructure such as canals, pumping stations, bridges and wells.”

NASA will also continue its subsidence monitoring, using data from the European Space Agency’s recently launched Sentinel-1 mission to cover a broader area and identify more vulnerable locations.

DWR also completed a recent land survey along the Aqueduct — which found 70-plus miles (113-plus kilometers) in Fresno, Kings and Kern counties sank more than 1.25 feet (0.4 meters) in two years — and will now conduct a system-wide evaluation of subsidence along the California Aqueduct and the condition of State Water Project facilities. The evaluation will help the department develop a capital improvement program to repair damage from subsidence. Past evaluations found that segments of the Aqueduct from Los Banos to Lost Hills sank more than 5 feet (1.5 meters) since construction.

NASA and the Indian Space Research Organisation are jointly developing the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission. Targeted to launch in 2020, NISAR will make global measurements of the causes and consequences of land surface changes. Potential areas of research include ecosystem disturbances, ice sheet collapse and natural hazards. The NISAR mission is optimized to measure subtle changes of Earth’s surface associated with motions of the crust and ice surfaces. NISAR will improve our understanding of key impacts of climate change and advance our knowledge of natural hazards.

The report, Progress Report: Subsidence in the Central Valley, California, prepared for DWR by researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, is available at: http://water.ca.gov/groundwater/docs/NASA_REPORT.pdf (14 MB)

Warming climate is deepening California drought (Science Daily)

Scientists say increasing heat drives moisture from ground

Date:
August 20, 2015
Source:
The Earth Institute at Columbia University
Summary:
A new study says that global warming has measurably worsened the ongoing California drought. While scientists largely agree that natural weather variations have caused a lack of rain, an emerging consensus says that rising temperatures may be making things worse by driving moisture from plants and soil into the air. The new study is the first to estimate how much worse: as much as a quarter.

Drought in California. Credit: © Tupungato / Fotolia

A new study says that global warming has measurably worsened the ongoing California drought. While scientists largely agree that natural weather variations have caused a lack of rain, an emerging consensus says that rising temperatures may be making things worse by driving moisture from plants and soil into the air. The new study is the first to estimate how much worse: as much as a quarter. The findings suggest that within a few decades, continually increasing temperatures and resulting moisture losses will push California into even more persistent aridity. The study appears this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

“A lot of people think that the amount of rain that falls out the sky is the only thing that matters,” said lead author A. Park Williams, a bioclimatologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. “But warming changes the baseline amount of water that’s available to us, because it sends water back into the sky.”

The study adds to growing evidence that climate change is already bringing extreme weather to some regions. California is the world’s eighth-largest economy, ahead of most countries, but many scientists think that the nice weather it is famous for may now be in the process of going away. The record-breaking drought is now in its fourth year; it is drying up wells, affecting major produce growers and feeding wildfires now sweeping over vast areas.

The researchers analyzed multiple sets of month-by-month data from 1901 to 2014. They looked at precipitation, temperature, humidity, wind and other factors. They could find no long-term rainfall trend. But average temperatures have been creeping up–about 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit over the 114-year period, in step with building fossil-fuel emissions. Natural weather variations have made California unusually hot over the last several years; added to this was the background trend. Thus, when rainfall declined in 2012, the air sucked already scant moisture from soil, trees and crops harder than ever. The study did not look directly at snow, but in the past, gradual melting of the high-mountain winter snowpack has helped water the lowlands in warm months. Now, melting has accelerated, or the snowpack has not formed at all, helping make warm months even dryer according to other researchers.

Due to the complexity of the data, the scientists could put only a range, not a single number, on the proportion of the drought caused by global warming. The paper estimates 8 to 27 percent, but Williams said that somewhere in the middle–probably 15 to 20 percent–is most likely.

Last year, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration sponsored a study that blamed the rain deficit on a persistent ridge of high-pressure air over the northeast Pacific, which has been blocking moisture-laden ocean air from reaching land. Lamont-Doherty climatologist Richard Seager, who led that study (and coauthored the new one), said the blockage probably has nothing to do with global warming; normal weather patterns will eventually push away the obstacle, and rainfall will return. In fact, most projections say that warming will eventually increase California’s rainfall a bit. But the new study says that evaporation will overpower any increase in rain, and then some. This means that by around the 2060s, more or less permanent drought will set in, interrupted only by the rainiest years. More intense rainfall is expected to come in short bursts, then disappear.

Many researchers believe that rain will resume as early as this winter. “When this happens, the danger is that it will lull people into thinking that everything is now OK, back to normal,” said Williams. “But as time goes on, precipitation will be less able to make up for the intensified warmth. People will have to adapt to a new normal.”

This study is not the first to make such assertions, but it is the most specific. A paper by scientists from Lamont-Doherty and Cornell University, published this February, warned that climate change will push much of the central and western United States into the driest period for at least 1,000 years. A March study out of Stanford University said that California droughts have been intensified by higher temperatures, and gives similar warnings for the future.

A further twist was introduced in a 2010 study by researchers at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. They showed that massive irrigation from underground aquifers has been offsetting global warming in some areas, because the water cools the air. The effect has been especially sharp in California’s heavily irrigated Central Valley–possibly up to 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit during some seasons. Now, aquifers are dropping fast, sending irrigation on a downward trajectory. If irrigation’s cooling effect declines, this will boost air temperatures even higher, which will dry aquifers further, and so on. Scientists call this process “positive feedback.”

Climatologist Noah Diffenbaugh, who led the earlier Stanford research, said the new study is an important step forward. It has “brought together the most comprehensive set of data for the current drought,” he said. “It supports the previous work showing that temperature makes it harder for drought to break, and increases the long-term risk.”

Jonathan Overpeck, co-director of the Institute of the Environment at the University of Arizona, said, “It’s important to have quantitative estimates of how much human-caused warming is already making droughts more severe.” But, he said, “it’s troubling to know that human influence will continue to make droughts more severe until greenhouse gas emissions are cut back in a big way.”


Journal Reference:

  1. A.P. Williams et al. Contribution of anthropogenic warming to California drought during 2012–2014Geophysical Research Letters, 2015 DOI: 10.1002/2015GL064924

With San Diego again drought-ridden, 1915 ‘Rainmaker’ saga is revisited (L.A. Times)

As California is finding out, drought can make people — and their governments — do things that might otherwise be unthinkable.

Take the San Diego of 1915.

With their small city beset by drought, civic leaders hired “moisture accelerator” Charles Hatfield, who claimed to have a secret formula of chemicals to produce rain.

“It was a disaster,” said Rick Crawford, supervisor of special collections at San Diego’s central library.

For $10,000, Hatfield promised to produce enough rain to fill the city’s depleted reservoirs. The otherwise fiscally conservative City Council agreed — although one councilman called the idea “foolishness.”

Charles Hatfield

Charles Hatfield scans the skies for signs of rain. The debate continues over whether he was a fraud or a man who had discovered an early forerunner to modern cloud-seeding. (Gordon Wallace / Los Angeles Times)

————
FOR THE RECORD:
San Diego “rainmaker” case: An article in the June 1 California section about San Diego’s hiring in 1915 of “rainmaker” Charles Hatfield was accompanied by a historic photo of Hatfield on the ladder of a 20-foot tower, which was identified as one he had built east of San Diego. He did build such a tower for San Diego, aimed at “wringing moisture from the air”; however, the photo was of another tower, in Coalinga, Calif., in 1924.
————

Hatfield and his younger brother built a 20-foot tower in the deep woods east of the city and began what one city official would later call “an incantation aimed at wringing moisture from the air.” Smoke drifted skyward.

What followed in January and early February of 1916 was a downpour — 30 inches of rain by some estimates.

Mission Valley flooded. The San Diego River jumped its banks. Farms, homes, bridges and businesses were swept away. Little Landers, a farming commune, was destroyed. Two dams were damaged and a third failed. Estimates of the deaths range from a dozen to 50.

Hatfield, who had done other rainmaking chores, decided to flee.

“Fearful of being lynched by angry farmers, Hatfield ‘got out of Dodge,’ as the saying goes, leaving town during the night,” wrote Dan Walker in his “Thirst for Independence: The San Diego Water Story,” published in 2004. “He never received his $10,000.”

When the waters receded, Hatfield returned and filed a lawsuit. Litigation dragged on for years, not settled until the San Diego County Superior Court rejected it in 1938.

From the “Hatfield Flood” came a legend that has endured for decades, inspiring books, historical reviews, at least two country-western songs and, very loosely, the 1956 movie “The Rainmaker” starring Burt Lancaster and Katharine Hepburn.

The debate continues over whether Hatfield was a fraud or a man who had discovered an early forerunner to modern cloud-seeding.

With San Diego again gripped by drought, the Hatfield saga is getting renewed notice: a display curated by Crawford in the special collections section of the downtown library and a short docu-drama on the Travel Channel.

Then, as now, San Diego was deeply concerned that its meager amount of native water will not sustain its population. By the late 19th century, San Diego officials were determined to capture as much rain runoff as possible. “We were building more dams than anybody in the world,” Crawford said.

A business organization called the San Diego Wide Awake Improvement Club demanded that the City Council do more to keep San Diego from withering with thirst.

When drought left the reservoirs at a low ebb, the council was ready to take a chance, even if it meant spending lots of money. The means have changed but not the motive; as Walker’s book suggests, the quest for water “independence” never ends in San Diego.

Modern-day officials have bet on an expensive deal for water from the Imperial Valley and a $1-billion desalination plant being built in Carlsbad.

In 1915, officials were taken with an impeccably dressed, politely earnest transplant from Kansas, the son of a devout Quaker family.

Charles Hatfield spoke in scientific terms and promised to work for free unless he could fill the Morena reservoir. He talked of having successfully using his rainmaking technique in Alaska, Los Angeles County, the San Joaquin Valley, Texas and Hemet. He had studied the works of other rainmakers, including the so-called Australian Wizard, and was familiar with the popular book “Elementary Meteorology.”

At first, San Diego rejoiced at the rain: “Rainmaker Hatfield Induces Clouds To Open,” read one headline.

Then concern set in, followed by distress and then horror as the water roared westward, unstoppable. The San Diego River, usually a few dozen yards wide, was calculated to be a mile in width.

“It seemed the rains would never end and the damage would never stop mounting,” historian Thomas Patterson wrote in a 1970 article for the San Diego History Center. “Great trees tumbled root over branch. Sticks of lumber, railroad ties and parts of houses floated crazily.”

Just what Hatfield did at his tower near Lake Morena is unclear.

Some accounts indicate he set the chemicals on fire and let the smoke drift upward.

Shelley Higgins, who later served as a Superior Court judge, wrote in his book “The Fantastic City of San Diego” that he went by the tower and saw Hatfield “shooting bombs” into the air.

The controversy and litigation did not hurt Hatfield’s career. Offers to make rain came from farmers and others throughout the Midwest and Texas.

The library exhibit includes a letter in 1920 from a New York-based sugar company begging Hatfield to come to Cuba. In 1929 he answered a plea from officials in Honduras to produce rain to douse a forest fire.

The Depression ended Hatfield’s rainmaking career; Dust Bowl farmers could not afford his services. He went back to his original trade: selling sewing machines.

Hatfield died in 1958 at age 82 and was buried in Glendale — never having revealed his chemical formula.

tony.perry@latimes.com

Twitter: @LATsandiego

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times

FOR THE RECORD

June 5, 8:50 a.m.: A previous version of the photo caption misidentified the tower built by Charles Hatfield as being the one east of San Diego. The photo is of a similar tower in Coalinga, Calif., in 1924.

Say a prayer for rain? Interfaith ceremony gives it a try (L.A. Times)

June 20, 2015 9:50 PM

Bedeviled by drought, Great Plains settlers in the early 1890s developed a keen interest in rainmaking.

With funds appropriated by Congress, Gen. Robert St. George Dyrenforth set off gunpowder explosions in Texas under the theory that they could trigger friction and generate nuclei to produce moisture. When his test runs came up dry, disillusioned farmers and ranchers dubbed him “General Dryhenceforth.”

At a mosque in parched, sunny Chino on Saturday evening, roughly 500 people of many faiths and ages gathered to try a less concussive tack to end the Golden State’s four-year drought.

Praying for rain

People of different faiths gather at the Baitul Hameed Mosque in dry, sunny Chino to pray for an end to California’s drought. (Rick Loomis, Los Angeles Times)

Invoking the power of prayer, they beseeched God, Buddha, Allah, Yahweh, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva to make it rain, already.

“Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Universe, the Compassionate, the Merciful, the Master of the Day of Judgment,” Imam Mohammed Zafarullah recited in Arabic to male congregants on colorful prayer rugs outside the Baitul Hameed Mosque, about 40 miles east of Los Angeles. “There is no god but Allah Who does what He wishes. O Allah, Thou art Allah, there is no deity but Thou, the Rich, while we are the poor. Send down the rain upon us and make what Thou sendest down a strength and satisfaction for a time.”

The interfaith Prayer for Rain, sponsored by the Los Angeles chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, had its seed in a Friday sermon that Dr. Ahsan M. Khan, president of the sect’s Los Angeles East chapter, heard on a visit to the headquarters mosque in London. The caliph, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, shared anecdotes of African villages where people accepted Islam after witnessing results when the local imams offered the Arabic prayer for rain.

With San Diego again drought-ridden, 1915 'Rainmaker' saga is revisited

With San Diego again drought-ridden, 1915 ‘Rainmaker’ saga is revisited

When Khan returned to Southern California, he proposed that members of the local mosque give it a try. Wearing a white sheet under a blistering sun, Zafarullah led the mosque’s congregants in their first-ever rain prayer in early May. Inspired, they decided to extend an invitation to other religious institutions for a collective event during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

“Prayer for rain is actually common across different faiths,” said Khan, 38, an ophthalmologist with Kaiser.

Californians have been praying for rain for a while now. Early last year, the state’s Catholic bishops called for divine intervention and asked people of all faiths to join in prayers for rain as reservoirs dipped to historic lows.

“May God open the heavens, and let his mercy rain down upon our fields and mountains,” said the prayer composed by Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento.

Not long after, in March 2014 — days after Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state drought emergency — the first San Juan Intertribal rain dance was held in San Juan Bautista.

Alas, as bare mountaintops and shrinking reservoirs attest, the pleas of bishops and California Indians went unanswered.

That was no surprise to Michael Shermer, founder of the Skeptics Society. He dashed cold water on the whole idea that prayer, no matter how many faiths were involved, would make a difference.

“I think it’s ridiculous, of course,” he said. “This often happens not only with religions but also with con men during droughts in the 19th century and the Dust Bowl years.”

The Rev. Michael Miller, the priest at St. Margaret Mary Church in Chino, was more optimistic about the power of prayer to bring rain. He said he “was full of gratitude to the imam for calling us together” for Saturday’s ceremony.

He noted that all three of the world’s monotheistic religions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — originated in the desert. “Water,” he said, “is important biologically and spiritually.”

After the ceremony, the members of the different faiths — Muslim, Roman Catholic, Mormon, Buddhist, Sikh, Christian Scientist — adjourned to a courtyard for a communal dinner.

Joe Sirard, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard, cheered them on in an interview days before the event.

“I’d recommend they pray for a strong El Niño this winter,” he said. “We need all the help we can get.”

martha.groves@latimes.com

Twitter: @MarthaGroves

Sabesp considera fim do Cantareira e corre contra o tempo (Exame)

JC, 5201, 22 de junho de 2015

A crise da água em São Paulo ainda não acabou

Depois que a seca do ano passado deixou São Paulo à beira de um racionamento severo de água, as chuvas do final do verão deram à Sabesp – a grande culpada pela crise, segundo autoridades municipais – uma segunda chance para aumentar investimentos em infraestrutura.

Com o início da estação seca, há uma corrida contra o tempo para desviar rios e conectar sistemas antes que os já prejudicados reservatórios de água fiquem baixos novamente.

A corrida contra o tempo ressalta a situação precária da maior metrópole da América do Sul após duas décadas sem nenhum grande projeto hídrico.

Os reservatórios ainda não se recuperaram da seca do ano passado e os meteorologistas estão prevendo meses mais quentes à frente por causa do fenômeno climático El Niño.

“A infraestrutura não foi a prioridade da Sabesp nos últimos anos. Eles não adotaram medidas para evitar a crise”, disse Pedro Caetano Mancuso, diretor do Centro de Referência em Segurança da Água da Universidade de São Paulo.

“Embora a Sabesp esteja disposta a fazer a lição de casa agora, a questão é se ela será concluída ou não a tempo de evitar um problema ainda maior”.

A Sabesp – empresa sob controle estatal -,disse que foi a severidade da seca do ano passado, e não a falta de investimentos em infraestrutura, a causa da crise.

“Nós estávamos preparados para uma seca tão ruim ou pior que a de 1953”, quando a Sabesp enfrentou uma crise similar, disse o presidente Jerson Kelman a vereadores, em uma audiência no dia 13 de maio.

“O que aconteceu em 2014 foi que tivemos metade do volume de chuva daquele ano. Para isso, nós não estávamos preparados”.

‘Previsível’

Em um relatório, em 10 de junho, a Câmara de Vereadores de São Paulo culpou a Sabesp pela crise que cortou o abastecimento em alguns bairros, dizendo que a seca já era previsível.

“Se a Sabesp tivesse investido os dividendos distribuídos na Bolsa de Nova York em obras para modernizar os sistemas que abastecem a capital e na manutenção da rede, não estaríamos enfrentando o racionamento travestido de redução de pressão”, disse Laércio Benko, vereador que liderou a comissão criada para investigar a escassez no abastecimento de água em São Paulo.

O maior dos projetos de infraestrutura que a Sabesp necessita neste ano para garantir o fornecimento de água potável está atrasado.

O projeto para conectar o Rio Pequeno ao reservatório da Billings, originalmente programado para ser concluído em maio, não será terminado até agosto devido a atrasos nas licenças ambientais e de uso da terra, disse a assessoria de imprensa da Sabesp em uma resposta a perguntas por e-mail. Se concluído neste ano, o pacote de cinco obras de emergência em que a Sabesp está investindo seria suficiente para evitar o racionamento, segundo a empresa.

Reservatório principal

Sem os projetos, e se as chuvas ficarem no nível do ano passado ou abaixo dele, a Sabesp projeta que seu reservatório principal – conhecido como Cantareira – poderá secar até agosto, segundo projeções internas obtidas pela Bloomberg News.

No pior cenário previsto pela empresa, poderá haver cortes no abastecimento de água na maior parte da área metropolitana de São Paulo cinco dias por semana, segundo o documento, que foi preparado como parte de um plano de contingência para São Paulo.

A Sabesp disse no e-mail que as chuvas, até agora, têm sido positivas. Para acelerar os investimentos de emergência agora, a Sabesp está cortando gastos e aumentando os preços da água. A empresa reduzirá os gastos com coleta e tratamento de esgoto pela metade neste ano, disseram executivos em uma teleconferência com investidores em abril. O aumento de tarifa reflete o “estresse financeiro” da Sabesp, disse o diretor financeiro Rui Affonso na conferência.

Queda das ações

As ações da Sabesp caíram 4,8 por cento na segunda-feira, pior desempenho das negociações em São Paulo, depois que a Federação das Indústrias do Estado de São Paulo (Fiesp) afirmou ter entrado com uma liminar para impedir o aumento de tarifa.

“A seca do ano passado será totalmente sentida nos resultados deste ano”, disse Alexandre Montes, analista de ações da Lopes Filho Associados Consultores de Investimentos, em entrevista por telefone, do Rio. “Mesmo se a seca diminuir agora, e mesmo se tudo sair bem, os resultados da Sabesp vão cair”.

(Revista Exame)

Dia mundial de combate à desertificação e à seca (CGEE)

JC, 5198, 17 de junho de 2015

No Dia de Combate à Desertificação e à Seca, hoje, 17 de junho, especialista do CGEE alerta sobre deterioração do Semiárido brasileiro. O Centro desenvolve trabalhos voltados ao tema, em preparação para a 21ª Conferência das Partes (COP 21) da Convenção Quadro das Nações Unidas sobre Mudanças Climáticas (UNFCCC), que ocorre no fim deste ano, em Paris, França

A velocidade em que as terras do Semiárido brasileiro se deterioram serve como um sinal de alerta para que o País invista cada vez mais em políticas públicas de pesquisa e ações afirmativas que possam encontrar soluções para o problema. As terras nordestinas são as mais castigadas com a seca, que já assola a região há quatro anos. Com os açudes esgotados, a situação, por lá, tende a ficar ainda mais grave, conforme analisa o assessor técnico do Centro de Gestão de Estudos Estratégicos (CGEE), Antônio Magalhães.

Pautado nessa questão, o Centro, desenvolveu, com o apoio da Fundação Cearense de Meteorologia e Recursos Hídricos (Funceme), a pesquisa Estado da arte da desertificação, degradação da terra e seca no Semiárido brasileiro: mapeamento das áreas vulneráveis, tecnologias e experiências de recuperação. O relatório será lançado como livro.

Além de avaliar experiências e as tecnologias aplicáveis à recuperação dos solos, da biodiversidade e da conservação dos recursos hídricos, a publicação, que deve ser disponibilizada, em breve, para download, mostra o panorama atual acerca da DLDD (sigla em inglês para Desertificação, Degradação da Terra e Seca) nas áreas mais suscetíveis a secas e processos de desertificação.

“A falta de planejamento na ocupação do solo conduz à sobrecarga do meio ambiente, levando à degradação da terra e de outros recursos naturais, como a água e as florestas”, explica Magalhães. O economista aponta, ainda, que a desertificação ocorre, em grande parte, sem a utilização de tecnologias que reduzem a perda de terras aráveis. “Pastagens com mais gado do que poderiam suportar se encaminham ao sobrepastoreio, o que prejudica o local”, afirma.

Magalhães, que já presidiu o Comitê Científico da Convenção das Nações Unidas para Combate à Desertificação e Mitigação dos Efeitos de Secas (STC/UNCCD – sigla em inglês), destaca que todos os continentes lidam com a questão. Nas nações da Comunidade de Países de Língua Portuguesa (CPLP), por exemplo, os mais sérios problemas de desertificação e seca são encontrados em Angola, Moçambique e Cabo Verde. Na Guiné-Bissau, a situação é mais amena.

(Bianca Torreão – Assessora de Comunicação – CGEE)

Mais informações sobre o assunto:

Correio Braziliense – O deserto à espreita

California’s Snowpack Is Now Zero Percent of Normal (Slate)

By Eric Holthaus MAY 29 2015 2:56 PM

468284618-stump-sits-at-the-site-of-a-manual-snow-survey-on-april

A stump sits at the site of a manual snow survey on April 1, 2015 in Phillips, California. The current recorded level is zero, the lowest in recorded history for California. Photo by Max Whittaker/Getty Images

California’s current megadrought hit a shocking new low this week: On Thursday, the state’s snowpack officially ran out.

At least some measurable snowpack in the Sierra mountains usually lasts all summer. But this year, its early demise means that runoff from the mountains—which usually makes up the bulk of surface water for farms and cities during the long summer dry season—will be essentially non-existent. To be clear: there’s still a bit of snow left, and some water will be released from reservoirs (which are themselves dangerously low), but this is essentially a worst-case scenario when it comes to California’s fragile water supply.

zero_percent_CAsnowpack

This week’s automated survey found California’s statewide snowpack had officially run out. California Department of Water Resources

The state knew this was coming and has been working to help soften the blow—but they’re fighting a losing battle. Bottom line: 2014 was the state’s hottest year in history, and 2015 is on pace to break that record. It’s been too warm for snow. Back in April, Gov. Jerry Brown enacted the state’s first-ever mandatory water restrictionsfor urban areas based mostly on the abysmal snowpack. In recent days, the state’s conservation efforts have turned to farmers—who use about 80 percent of California’s water.

With a burgeoning El Niño on the way, there’s reason to believe the rains could return soon—but not before October or November. The state’s now mired in such a deep water deficit that even a Texas-sized flood may not totally eliminate the drought.

Welcome to climate change, everyone.

Aided by the Sea, Israel Overcomes an Old Foe: Drought (The New York Times)

JERUSALEM — At the peak of the drought, Shabi Zvieli, an Israeli gardener, feared for his livelihood.

A hefty tax was placed on excessive household water consumption, penalizing families with lawns, swimming pools or leaky pipes. So many of Mr. Zvieli’s clients went over to synthetic grass and swapped their seasonal blooms for hardy, indigenous plants more suited to a semiarid climate. “I worried about where gardening was going,” said Mr. Zvieli, 56, who has tended people’s yards for about 25 years.

Across the country, Israelis were told to cut their shower time by two minutes. Washing cars with hoses was outlawed and those few wealthy enough to absorb the cost of maintaining a lawn were permitted to water it only at night.

“We were in a situation where we were very, very close to someone opening a tap somewhere in the country and no water would come out,” said Uri Schor, the spokesman and public education director of the government’s Water Authority.

But that was about six years ago. Today, there is plenty of water in Israel. A lighter version of an old “Israel is drying up” campaign has been dusted off to advertise baby diapers. “The fear has gone,” said Mr. Zvieli, whose customers have gone back to planting flowers.

As California and other western areas of the United States grapple with an extreme drought, a revolution has taken place here. A major national effort to desalinate Mediterranean seawater and to recycle wastewater has provided the country with enough water for all its needs, even during severe droughts. More than 50 percent of the water for Israeli households, agriculture and industry is now artificially produced.

During the drought years, farmers at Ramat Rachel, a kibbutz on the southern outskirts of Jerusalem, took water-economizing measures like uprooting old apple orchards a few years before their time. With the new plenty, water allocations for Israeli farmers that had been slashed have been raised again, though the price has also gone up.

“Now there is no problem of water,” said Shaul Ben-Dov, an agronomist at Ramat Rachel. “The price is higher, but we can live a normal life in a country that is half desert.”

With its part-Mediterranean, part-desert climate, Israel had suffered from chronic shortages and exploitation of its natural water resources for decades.

The natural fresh water at Israel’s disposal in an average year does not cover its total use of roughly 525 billion gallons. The demand for potable water is projected to rise to 515 billion gallons by 2030, from 317 billion gallons this year.

The turnaround came with a seven-year drought, one of the most severe to hit modern Israel, that began in 2005 and peaked in the winter of 2008 to 2009. The country’s main natural water sources — the Sea of Galilee in the north and the mountain and coastal aquifers — were severely depleted, threatening a potentially irreversible deterioration of the water quality.

Measures to increase the supply and reduce the demand were accelerated, overseen by the Water Authority, a powerful interministerial agency established in 2007.

Desalination emerged as one focus of the government’s efforts, with four major plants going into operation over the past decade. A fifth one should be ready to operate within months. Together, they will produce a total of more than 130 billion gallons of potable water a year, with a goal of 200 billion gallons by 2020.

Israel has, in the meantime, become the world leader in recycling and reusing wastewater for agriculture. It treats 86 percent of its domestic wastewater and recycles it for agricultural use — about 55 percent of the total water used for agriculture. Spain is second to Israel, recycling 17 percent of its effluent, while the United States recycles just 1 percent, according to Water Authority data.

Before the establishment of the Water Authority, various ministries were responsible for different aspects of the water issue, each with its own interests and lobbies.

“There was a lot of hydro-politics,” said Eli Feinerman of the faculty of agriculture, food and environment at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who served for years as a public representative on the authority’s council. “The right hand did not know what the left was doing.”

The Israeli government began by making huge cuts in the annual water quotas for farmers, ending decades of extravagant overuse of heavily subsidized water for agriculture.

The tax for surplus household use was dropped at the end of 2009 and a two-tiered tariff system was introduced. Regular household water use is now subsidized by a slightly higher rate paid by those who consume more than the basic allotment.

Water Authority representatives went house to house offering to fit free devices on shower heads and taps that inject air into the water stream, saving about a third of the water used while still giving the impression of a strong flow.

Officials say that wiser use of water has led to a reduction in household consumption of up to 18 percent in recent years.

And instead of the municipal authorities being responsible for the maintenance of city pipe networks, local corporations have been formed. The money collected for water is reinvested in the infrastructure.

Mekorot, the national water company, built the national water carrier 50 years ago, a system for transporting water from the Sea of Galilee in the north through the heavily populated center to the arid south. Now it is building new infrastructure to carry water west to east, from the Mediterranean coast inland.

In the parched Middle East, water also has strategic implications. Struggles between Israel and its Arab neighbors over water rights in the Jordan River basin contributed to tensions leading to the 1967 Middle East war.

Israel, which shares the mountain aquifer with the West Bank, says it provides the Palestinians with more water than it is obliged to under the existing peace accords. The Palestinians say it is not enough and too expensive. A new era of water generosity could help foster relations with the Palestinians and with Jordan.

Desalination, long shunned by many as a costly energy guzzler with a heavy carbon footprint, is becoming cheaper, cleaner and more energy efficient as technologies advance. Sidney Loeb, an American who was one of the scientists who invented the popular reverse osmosis method, came to live in Israel in 1967 and taught the water professionals here.

The Sorek desalination plant rises out of the sandy ground about nine miles south of Tel Aviv. Said to be the largest plant of its kind in the world,it produces 40 billion gallons of potable water a year, enough for about a sixth of Israel’s roughly eight million citizens.

Miriam Faigon, the director of the solutions department at IDE Technologies, the Israeli company that built three of the plants along the Mediterranean, said that the company had cut energy levels and costs with new technologies and a variety of practical methods.

Under a complex arrangement, the plants will be transferred to state ownership after 25 years. For now, the state buys Sorek’s desalinated water for a relatively cheap 58 cents a cubic meter — more than free rainwater, Ms. Faigon acknowledged, “but that’s only if you have it.”

Israeli environmentalists say the rush to desalination has partly come at the expense of alternatives like treating natural water reserves that have become polluted by industry, particularly the military industries in the coastal plain.

“We definitely felt that Israel did need to move toward desalination,” said Sarit Caspi-Oron, a water expert at the nongovernment Israel Union for Environmental Defense. “But it is a question of how much, and of priorities. Our first priority was conservation and treating and reclaiming our water sources.”

Some environmentalists also say that the open-ocean intake method used by Israel’s desalination plants, in line with local regulations, as opposed to subsurface intakes, has a potentially destructive effect on sea life, sucking in billions of fish eggs and larvae.

But Boaz Mayzel, a marine biologist at the Israel Union for Environmental Defense, said that the effects were not yet known and would have to be checked over time.

Some Israelis are cynical about the water revolution. Tsur Shezaf, an Israeli journalist and the owner of a farm that produces wine and olives in the southern Negev, argues that desalination is essentially a privatization of Israel’s water supply that benefits a few tycoons, while recycling for agriculture allows the state to sell the same water twice.

Mr. Shezaf plants his vines in a way that maximizes the use of natural floodwaters in the area, as in ancient times, and irrigates the rest of the year with a mix of desalinated water and fresh water. He prefers to avoid the cheaper recycled water, he says, because, “You don’t know exactly what you are getting.”

But experts say that the wastewater from Israel’s densely populated Tel Aviv area is treated to such a high level that no harm would come to anyone who accidentally drank it.

Water – 60 minutes (CBS)

VIDEO

Lesley Stahl reports on disturbing new evidence that our planet’s groundwater is being pumped out much faster than it can be replenished

The following is a script of “Water” which aired on Nov. 16, 2014, and was rebroadcast on May 31, 2015. Lesley Stahl is the correspondent.

Last fall, we brought you a story about something that has made headlines ever since — water. It’s been said that the wars of the 21st century may well be fought over water. The Earth’s population has more than doubled over the last 50 years and the demand for fresh water — to drink and to grow food — has surged along with it. But sources of water like rainfall, rivers, streams, reservoirs, certainly haven’t doubled. So where is all that extra water coming from? More and more, it’s being pumped out of the ground.

Water experts say groundwater is like a savings account — something you draw on in times of need. But savings accounts need to be replenished, and there is new evidence that so much water is being taken out, much of the world is in danger of a groundwater overdraft.

California is now in its fourth year of a record-breaking drought. This past winter was the hottest and driest since the state started keeping written records. And yet, pay a visit to California’s Central Valley and out of that parched land you’ll see acre upon acre of corn, almond trees, pomegranates, tomatoes, grapes. And what makes them all possible: water. Where do you get water in a drought? You take it out of the savings account: groundwater.

[Jay Famiglietti: When we talk about surface water, we’re talking about lakes and rivers. And when we’re talking about groundwater, we’re really talking about water below the water table.]

Jay Famiglietti, an Earth sciences professor at the University of California, Irvine, is a leading expert on groundwater.

Jay Famiglietti: It’s like a sponge. It’s like an underground sponge.

He’s talking about the aquifers where groundwater is stored — layers of soil and rock, as he showed us in this simple graphic, that are saturated with water and can be drilled into, like the three wells shown here.

Lesley Stahl: You can actually pump it out of the crevices?

Jay Famiglietti: Imagine like trying to put a straw into a sponge. You can actually suck water right out of a sponge. It’s a very similar process.

Sucking the water out of those aquifers is big business these days in the Central Valley. Well driller Steve Arthur is a very busy man.

Steve Arthur: All the farmers, they don’t have no surface water. They’ve got to keep these crops alive. The only way to do that is to drill wells, pump the water from the ground.

Lesley Stahl: So it’s either drill or go out of business?

Steve Arthur: Yes.

So there’s something of a groundwater rush going on here. Arthur’s seven rigs are in constant use and his waiting list is well over a year. And because some wells here are running dry, he’s having to drill twice as deep as he did just a year or two ago. This well will cost the farmer a quarter of a million dollars, and go down 1,200 feet — about the height of the Empire State Building.

“If we’re talking about a deeper aquifer, that could take tens or hundreds of years to recharge.”

Lesley Stahl: Are you and are the farmers worried that by going that deep you are depleting the ground water?

Steve Arthur: Well, yes, we are depleting it. But on the other hand, what choice do you have? This is the most fertile valley in the world. You can grow anything you want here. If we don’t have water to grow something, it’s going to be a desert.

He said many farmers think the problem is cyclical and that once the drought ends, things will be okay.

Lesley Stahl: Now when they take water out and it rains…

Jay Famiglietti: Yes.

Lesley Stahl: …doesn’t the water go back down there?

Jay Famiglietti: These aquifers near the surface, they can sometimes be replenished very quickly. If we’re talking about a deeper aquifer, that could take tens or hundreds of years to recharge.

Figuring out how much is being depleted from those aquifers deep underground isn’t easy. Hydrologist Claudia Faunt took us to what looked like someone’s backyard shed, where she and her colleagues at the U.S. Geological Survey monitor groundwater levels in the Central Valley the way they always have — by dropping a sensor down a monitoring well.

grace3.jpg

Lesley Stahl: So this is a well.

Claudia Faunt: This is a well. So we have a tape here that has a sensor on the end.

Lesley Stahl: Oh, let me see.

The Geological Survey has 20,000 wells like this across the country.

Lesley Stahl: It’s a tape measure.

Claudia Faunt: It’s a tape measure.

Lesley Stahl: How will you know when it hits water?

Claudia Faunt: It’s going to beep.

By comparing measurements from different wells over time, they get the best picture they can of where groundwater levels stand. She unspooled and unspooled, until finally…

[Beep]

Lesley Stahl: Oh.

It startled me, as did the result: a five-foot drop in just one month.

Claudia Faunt: Right now, we’re reaching water levels that are at historic lows, they’re like…

Lesley Stahl: Historic lows?

Claudia Faunt: Right. At this site, water levels have dropped about 200 feet in the last few years.

Gathering data from holes in the ground like this has been the only way to get a handle on groundwater depletion. That is, until 2002, and the launch of an experimental NASA satellite called GRACE.

Lesley Stahl: What does GRACE stand for?

Mike Watkins: So GRACE stands for gravity recovery and climate experiment.

Mike Watkins is head of the Science Division at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. He was the mission manager for the latest Mars rover mission and he is the project scientist for GRACE.

Mike Watkins: So the way GRACE works is it’s two satellites.

Lesley Stahl: Two?

Mike Watkins: They’re actually measuring each other’s orbit very, very accurately.

What affects that orbit is gravity.

Mike Watkins: As the first one comes up on some extra mass, an area of higher gravity, it gets pulled away…

Lesley Stahl: It goes faster.

Mike Watkins: …from the second spacecraft.

water10.jpg

And that’s where water comes in. Since water has mass, it affects the pull of gravity, so after the first GRACE satellite approaches an area that’s had lots of heavy rain for example, and is pulled ahead, the second one gets there, feels the pull and catches up. The instruments are constantly measuring the distance between the two.

Mike Watkins: Their changes in separation, their changes in their orbit are a little different this month than last month because water moved around and it changed the gravity field just enough.

So GRACE can tell whether an area has gained water weight or lost it.

Lesley Stahl: So GRACE is like a big scale in the sky?

Mike Watkins: Absolutely.

GRACE can also tell how much water an area has gained or lost. Scientists can then subtract out the amount of rain and snowfall there, and what’s left are the changes in groundwater.

Lesley Stahl: It’s kind of brilliant to think that a satellite in the sky is measuring groundwater.

Mike Watkins: It is fantastic.

Jay Famiglietti: I thought it was complete nonsense. There’s no way we can see groundwater from space.

Jay Famiglietti started out a skeptic, but that was before he began analyzing the data GRACE sent back. The first place he looked was India. He showed us a time-lapse animation of the changes GRACE detected there over the last 12 years. Note the dates on the lower right. The redder it gets, the greater the loss of water.

Lesley Stahl: Oh, look at that.

He calculated that more than half the loss was due to groundwater depletion.

Jay Famiglietti: And this is a huge agricultural region.

“So we’re talking about groundwater depletion in the aquifers that supply irrigation water to grow the world’s food.”

Lesley Stahl: Have they been doing the same kind of pumping…

Jay Famiglietti: Yes.

Lesley Stahl: …that we’re seeing in California?

Jay Famiglietti: Yes.

Lesley Stahl: It got so dark red.

Jay Famiglietti: Yeah, that’s bad.

His India findings were published in the journal “Nature.” But as he showed us, India wasn’t the only red spot on the GRACE map.

Jay Famiglietti: This is right outside Beijing, Bangladesh and then across southern Asia.

He noticed a pattern.

Jay Famiglietti: They are almost exclusively located over the major aquifers of the world. And those are also our big food-producing regions. So we’re talking about groundwater depletion in the aquifers that supply irrigation water to grow the world’s food.

If that isn’t worrisome enough, some of those aquifer systems are in volatile regions, for instance this one that is shared by Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey.

Jay Famiglietti: Turkey’s built a bunch of dams. Stored a bunch of water upstream. That forces the downstream neighbors to use more groundwater and the groundwater’s being depleted.

Lesley Stahl: Oh my.

Jay Famiglietti: We’re seeing this water loss spread literally right across Iran, Iraq and into Syria and down.

Lesley Stahl: It’s progressive.

“So the ground basically collapses or compresses down and the land sinks.”

Famiglietti, who’s now moved to the jet propulsion lab to work on GRACE, has started traveling around the world, trying to alert governments and academics to the problem, and he isn’t the only one who’s worried.

A 2012 report from the director of National Intelligence warned that within 10 years “many countries important to the United States will experience water problems … that will risk instability and state failure…” and cited the possible “use of water as a weapon or to further terrorist objectives.”

Lesley Stahl: Water is the new oil.

Jay Famiglietti: It’s true. It’s headed in that direction.

And what about our own food-producing regions, like California’s Central Valley, which produces 25 percent of the nation’s food. What is GRACE telling us there?

Lesley Stahl: 2008.

Jay Famiglietti: Right.

Lesley Stahl: ’09.

Jay Famiglietti: And now things are going to start to get very red.

Lesley Stahl: 2010.

GRACE is confirming what the geological survey well measures have shown, but giving a broader and more frightening picture, since it shows that the rainy years are not making up for the losses.

Lesley Stahl: ’14. Dark red.

Lesley Stahl: That’s alarming.

Jay Famiglietti: It should be.

water9.jpg

So much groundwater has been pumped out here that the geological survey says it’s causing another problem: parts of the valley are literally sinking. It’s called subsidence.

Claudia Faunt: So the ground basically collapses or compresses down and the land sinks.

Lesley Stahl: The land is sinking down.

She said at this spot, the ground is dropping several inches a year.

Claudia Faunt: And north of here, it’s more like a foot per year.

Lesley Stahl: That sounds like a lot, a foot a year.

Claudia Faunt: It’s some of the fastest rates we have ever seen in the valley, and in the world.

She says it’s caused damage to infrastructure: buckles in canals and sinking bridges. Here the land has sunk six feet. It used to be level with the top of this concrete slab.

Lesley Stahl: And this is because of the pumping of the groundwater?

Claudia Faunt: Yes.

Lesley Stahl: Is there any limit on a farmer, as to how much he can actually take out of this groundwater?

Claudia Faunt: Not right now in the state of California.

Lesley Stahl: None?

Claudia Faunt: As long as you put it to a beneficial use, you can take as much as you want.

But what’s beneficial to you may not be beneficial to your neighbor.

Lesley Stahl: When you dig a well like this, are you taking water from the next farm?

Steve Arthur: I would say yeah. We’re taking water from everybody.

Lesley Stahl: Well, is that neighbor going to be unhappy?

Steve Arthur: No. Everybody knows that there’s a water problem. Everybody knows you got to drill deeper, deeper. And it’s funny you say that because we’re actually going to drill a well for that farmer next door also.

“I can’t believe how brave I am. 45 minutes ago, this was sewer water.”

Making things worse, farmers have actually been planting what are known as “thirsty” crops. We saw orchard after orchard of almond trees. Almonds draw big profits, but they need water all year long, and farmers can never let fields go fallow, or the trees will die.

But with all the water depletion here, we did find one place that is pumping water back into its aquifer.

Lesley Stahl: Look, it really looks ickier up close.

We took a ride with Mike Markus, general manager of the Orange County Water District and a program some call “toilet to tap.” They take 96-million gallons a day of treated wastewater from a county sanitation plant — and yes, that includes sewage — and in effect, recycle it. He says in 45 minutes, this sewage water will be drinkable.

Mike Markus: You’ll love it.

Lesley Stahl: You think I’m going to drink that water?

Mike Markus: Yes, you will.

They put the wastewater through an elaborate three-step process: suck it through microscopic filters, force it through membranes, blast it with UV light. By the end, Markus insists it’s purer than the water we drink. But it doesn’t go straight to the tap. They send it to this basin and then use it to replenish the groundwater.

Jay Famiglietti: It’s amazing. Because of recycling of sewage water, they’ve been able to arrest that decline in the groundwater.

Lesley Stahl: All right. I’m going to do it. I’m going to do it.

grace8.jpg

All that was left was to try it. To tell the truth, it wasn’t bad.

Lesley Stahl: I can’t believe how brave I am. Forty-five minutes ago, this was sewer water.

Mike Markus: And now, it’s drinkable.

He says it’s a great model for big cities around the country. But it’s not the answer for areas like the Central Valley, which is sparsely populated and therefore doesn’t produce enough waste. So at least for now, it’s continuing withdrawals from that savings account.

Lesley Stahl: Will there be a time when there is zero water in the aquifer for people in California?

Jay Famiglietti: Unless we take action, yes.

California has taken several actions. Last month, Governor Brown mandated a 25 percent cut in water use by homes and businesses. And the state also enacted a law that for the first time takes steps toward regulating groundwater. But the law could take 25 years to fully implement.

Cemaden faz nova projeção da reserva do Cantareira no período de seca (MCTI/Cemaden)

Levantamento do Centro Nacional de Monitoramento e Alertas de Desastres Naturais indica chuvas e reservas abaixo da média histórica até dezembro

O Centro Nacional de Monitoramento e Alertas de Desastres Naturais (Cemaden/MCTI) aponta no último relatório, publicado na quarta-feira (27), as situações críticas do Reservatório do Sistema Cantareira, indicando chuvas e reservas abaixo da média histórica, até dezembro deste ano.

Essa situação ocorrerá mesmo com a inclusão dos dados da diminuição da captação de água do reservatório, prevista para os meses de setembro até novembro, anunciada pelo Comunicado Conjunto da Agência Nacional de Água (ANA) e do Departamento de Águas e Energia Elétrica (DAEE), na última semana de maio.

Com base nas redes pluviométricas do Cemaden e do DAEE, cobrindo as sub-bacias de captação do Sistema Cantareira, durante o período de outubro de 2014 a março de 2015, a precipitação média espacial acumulada foi de 879 milímetros (mm), equivalente a 73,5% da média climatológica, registrada em 1.161 mm para o mesmo período.

A precipitação média espacial acumulada no mês de abril de 2015 foi de 52,4 mm, representando 58,4% da média climatológica do mês, registrado em 89,83 mm. A chuva acumulada no período de 1º até 29 de maio de 2015 foi registrada com uma precipitação média de 55,3 mm, que representa 70,7% do total de chuvas da média histórica do mesmo período, registrada em 78,2 mm. No relatório, também são indicados os valores da precipitação média dos dados da Companhia de Saneamento Básico do Estado de São Paulo (Sabesp), que têm algumas variações com relação aos dados do Cemaden.

Na situação atual, a vazão média do Sistema Cantareira, ou seja, o cálculo entre o volume de água e o seu reabastecimento com as chuvas, está abaixo da média climatológica. A vazão média afluente ao Sistema Cantareira no mês de maio foi de 14,02 metros cúbicos por segundo (m3/s), ou seja, 63,4% abaixo da vazão média mensal de 38,27 m3/s. Também está abaixo da vazão mínima histórica de 19,90 m3/s, representando apenas 29,5% do total da média histórica.

Projeções

O relatório do cenário hídrico do Sistema Cantareira, divulgado, periodicamente, desde janeiro de 2015, tem os cálculos das projeções da vazão afluente no modelo hidrológico, implementado pelo Cemaden, com base na previsão de chuva do Centro de Previsão de Tempo e Estudos Climáticos (CPTEC) do Inpe para sete dias. A partir do oitavo dia, são apresentadas projeções com base em cinco cenários de chuvas (na média histórica, 25% e 50% abaixo e acima da média). Finalmente, considerando um cenário de extração ou captação de água do Sistema Cantareira são obtidas as projeções da evolução do armazenamento.

No último relatório, considerou-se a extração total do Sistema Cantareira igual a 17,0 m³ por segundo no período de 1º de junho a 31 de agosto e também no mês de dezembro de 2015. No período de 1º de setembro a 30 de novembro, considerou-se a captação de água dos reservatórios igual a 13,5 m³ por segundo.

No cenário de precipitações pluviométricas na média climatológica, no final da estação seca, início de outubro, o volume armazenado seria de 188,66 milhões de m3, aproximadamente. “Esse volume armazenado representa 14,9% da reserva total do Cantareira, ou seja, a soma do volume útil e os dois volumes mortos, com o total estimado em 1.269,5 milhões de m³”, destaca a hidróloga do Cemaden Adriana Cuartas, responsável pelo relatório do Cantareira.

Nesse cenário de precipitações dentro da média histórica, no dia 1º de dezembro de 2015, o volume armazenado seria, aproximadamente, de 227,72 milhões de m³, que representaria 17,9% do volume da reserva total do Cantareira.

Para um cenário de precipitações pluviométricas iguais à média climatológica, o chamado volume morto 1 seria recuperado ao longo da última semana de dezembro, aproximadamente. Considerando o cenário de chuvas 25% acima da média climatológica, o volume morto 1 seria recuperado na última semana de novembro.

Acesse o documento.

(MCTI, via Cemaden)

Sabesp faz investimento milionário em questionada técnica para fazer chover (UOL)

Thamires Andrade*

Do UOL, em São Paulo

28/05/201512h09

Até o fim deste ano, a Sabesp terá repassado R$ 12,5 milhões sem ter feito uma licitação

Até o fim deste ano, a Sabesp terá repassado R$ 12,5 milhões sem ter feito uma licitação (Lucas Lacaz Ruiz/Estadão Conteúdo)

Enquanto alega necessidade de “garantir o equilíbrio econômico-financeiro” para justificar a alta na conta de água, a Sabesp (Companhia de Saneamento Básico do Estado de São Paulo) mantém um negócio de mais de R$ 8 milhões com a ModClima, uma empresa que oferece uma técnica de indução de chuvas artificiais. Especialistas ouvidos pelo UOL dizem, porém, que o método não é eficaz.

De acordo com documentos da Sabesp obtidos via Lei de Acesso à Informação, a companhia já fechou quatro contratos com a empresa. Nos dois mais recentes, assinados no ano passado, a Sabesp já pagou R$ 2,4 milhões de um total de R$ 8,1 milhões previstos para fazer chover nos sistemas Cantareira e Alto Tietê, os mais afetados pela crise da água na região metropolitana de São Paulo.

Nos dois anteriores, com vigência 2007/2008 e 2009/2013, respectivamente, foram repassados R$ 4,3 milhões — já somados os reajustes. Desde 2007, portanto, a ModClima recebeu quase R$ 7 milhões da Sabesp.

Até o fim deste ano, a Sabesp terá repassado R$ 12,5 milhões sem ter feito nenhum tipo de contrato de licitação. A empresa alega que não era necessário abrir esse processo, pois a ModClima possui “patente de tecnologia utilizada”. Ou seja, ela seria a única empresa detentora desse tipo de tecnologia e, consequentemente, a única capaz de prestar o serviço.

Para o professor livre-docente do IAG-USP (Instituto de Astronomia, Geofísica e Ciências Atmosféricas da Universidade de São Paulo) Augusto Jose Pereira Filho, a Sabesp contratou a empresa para não ser acusada de não fazer nada diante da crise de abastecimento de água.

“Foi dinheiro jogado fora. Era melhor utilizar essa verba para outros objetivos, como campanhas de conscientização e redução de perda de água, do que usar em técnicas que ainda não têm comprovação científica”, afirma.

A técnica

A tecnologia, utilizada pela ModClima, é chamada de semeadura e é realizada com um avião que lança gotículas de água dentro da nuvem para acelerar sua precipitação.

As gotas ganham volume e, quando estão pesadas o suficiente, a chuva localizada acontece. Segundo a empresa, chove de 5 a 40 milímetros. O tempo de semeadura dura entre 20 e 40 minutos.

“A semeadura consiste em imitar o processo de crescimento dos hidrometeoros [meteoros aquosos] que, quando atingem o tamanho correto dentro da nuvem, provocam a precipitação. Um avião lança dentro da nuvem gotículas de gelo, cristais ou outra partícula – de acordo com o tipo desta nuvem [quente ou fria] – para acelerar o início da chuva, mas para isso é necessário estar no lugar certo e na hora certa”, explica o professor Carlos Augusto Morales Rodriguez, do Departamento de Ciências Atmosféricas do IAG-USP.

A nuvem deve ter uma densidade adequada para que ocorra a precipitação, mas, segundo Rodriguez, a meteorologia tem dificuldades para identificar as nuvens em condições para a efetivação do processo.

“O radar meteorológico usado pela empresa contratada pela Sabesp não é capaz de identificar a nuvem que está em processo de precipitação, mas, sim, as nuvens que já estão chovendo. Portanto a técnica da empresa é ineficaz, já que, quando o avião entra na nuvem, ela já está chovendo”, explica Rodriguez.

Rodriguez afirma ainda que a empresa fez a semeadura no sistema Cantareira como se o local tivesse nuvens do tipo quente. “O Estado de São Paulo é composto por nuvens frias e, para acelerar a precipitação, era necessário uma técnica adequada para esta região, como o uso de iodeto de prata e gelo seco”, explica.

Tanto Rodriguez quanto Pereira Filho fizeram avaliações independentes do trabalho da empresa e concluíram que a técnica não tinha a eficácia desejada.

“Em uma avaliação de 2003/2004 constatamos que a técnica não funcionou, mas mesmo assim a Sabesp contratou a empresa novamente”, diz Filho. “Fui convidado pelo diretor da Sabesp para conversar com os representantes da ModClima e, durante a reunião, os relatos eram descabidos do ponto de vista científico.”

Ele também questiona os resultados da técnica no ano passado. De acordo com o documento da Sabesp obtido via Lei de Acesso à Informação, só no ano passado a técnica induziu precipitação de 25 hm³ (hectômetro cúbico, o equivalente a 25 bilhões de litros) no sistema Cantareira e 6 hm³ no sistema Alto Tietê (equivalente a 6 bilhões de litros).

“Relatos da Sabesp diziam que houve aumento de 30% de chuvas nos sistemas por causa da técnica, mas a porcentagem e os resultados são duvidosos, pois não é fácil medir de que maneira a semeadura contribuiu de fato para aumentar a precipitação local”, argumenta Filho.

Procurada, a empresa ModClima informou que sua comunicação atual está concentrada na Sabesp e que não responderia as perguntas da reportagem.

A Sabesp não indicou nenhum representante para explicar a contratação dos serviços para provocar chuvas artificiais nem respondeu questões complementares enviadas pelo UOL. *Com colaboração de Wellington Ramalhoso

Presidente de CPI defende que prefeitura de SP aplique multas à Sabesp (Estadão)

Em São Paulo

13/05/201515h19

11.mai.2015 - Carroceria de veículo fica visível na margem da represa Jaguari-Jacareí, no interior de São Paulo, devido ao baixo nível das águas

11.mai.2015 – Carroceria de veículo fica visível na margem da represa Jaguari-Jacareí, no interior de São Paulo, devido ao baixo nível das águas. Pablo Schettini/Futura Press/Futura Press/Estadão Conteúdo

O presidente da Comissão Parlamentar de Inquérito (CPI) da Sabesp na Câmara Municipal de São Paulo, vereador Laércio Benko (PHS), afirmou nesta quarta (13) que a comissão defenderá uma posição mais efetiva da prefeitura de São Paulo em relação à aplicação de multas contra a Sabesp. A companhia de saneamento comandada pelo governo paulista cortou o fornecimento sem aviso prévio, enfrenta dificuldades na atividade de recapeamento de ruas após obras realizadas e ainda despeja esgoto em mananciais, segundo ele.

“Temos que fazer com que Sabesp devolva à Prefeitura, através de multas, aquilo que ela não praticou. Temos que propor penalidades ao prefeito, e também cobrar dele que a prefeitura realize a regularização dos nossos mananciais onde há ocupação indevida”, afirmou Benko, após o encerramento da sessão de hoje da CPI da Sabesp.

O relatório que está sendo elaborado pelo vereador Nelo Rodolfo (PMDB) também cita outra medida importante que deve ser levada à avaliação dos vereadores que compõem a CPI. Ele defende a criação de uma agência reguladora municipal, nos mesmos moldes da Agência Reguladora de Saneamento e Energia do Estado de São Paulo (Arsesp), esta estadual. “Mas ainda quero pensar mais sobre essa questão, para não estarmos apenas criando mais uma autarquia”, disse.

Benko reforçou, após a sessão da CPI, a contrariedade em relação ao fato de a Sabesp ser uma empresa listada em Bolsa. Durante a sessão, que contou com a presença do presidente da Sabesp, Jerson Kelman, o vereador criticou a distribuição de dividendos em um momento no qual a companhia precisa fazer investimentos para garantir o abastecimento de água.

Kelman rebateu a afirmação alegando que a Sabesp, por ser uma empresa aberta, deve respeitar a legislação e distribuir o equivalente a 25% do lucro líquido anual, o que foi proposto para 2015. Benko classificou com um “tapa na cara do cidadão paulistano” a distribuição de dividendos em um momento como o atual.

O vereador chegou a propor que a Sabesp fizesse provisões para recursos a serem destinados a obras, mas a possibilidade foi descartada pelo presidente da companhia de saneamento. “A provisão é um detalhe contábil. Para garantirmos investimentos em nosso planejamento plurianual, é preciso que tenhamos lucro para poder investir”, disse Kelman após a sessão.

O relatório do vereador Rodolfo também deve levantar a possibilidade de o contrato entre Sabesp e a prefeitura de São Paulo ser reavaliado. Nesse caso, pondera Benko, a grande dúvida estaria em quem assumiria o trabalho de saneamento feito pela Sabesp. O presidente da CPI afirmou que ainda não há convergência em relação ao pré-relatório elaborado pelo colega do PMDB. As atividades da CPI serão encerradas no próximo dia 29 de maio e o relator tem um prazo de até 15 dias, após essa data, para a conclusão do documento.

Responsabilidade

Questionado sobre a não convocação do governador de São Paulo, Geraldo Alckmin, à CPI da Sabesp, Benko ressaltou que a comissão convocou aqueles que eram considerados os principais envolvidos no processo: Kelman e a ex-presidente da Sabesp, Dilma Pena. “Acredito que o governador estava muito mal assessorado pela antiga presidência da Sabesp, e que agora chegou uma pessoa que abriu os olhos de todos”, disse Benko, que disputou a eleição a governador de São Paulo em 2014 contra o governador reeleito Alckmin. O governo de São Paulo é controlador da Sabesp e, como tal, indica o maior número de membros do conselho de administração da companhia de saneamento.

“Após o início do trabalho da CPI, em que nós desmascaramos a Dilma Pena, mostramos que ela estava administrando a Sabesp de uma forma péssima e foi trocada a presidência da Sabesp, as coisas começaram a funcionar”, disse. “Mas não estou dizendo que o governador não tenha responsabilidade, nem que ele tenha”, complementou. Benko disse que os vereadores podem entrar com ação popular, medida que pode ser feita por qualquer cidadão, e criticou a ausência do procurador geral do Estado às sessões da CPI.

Em relação à situação de abastecimento da cidade neste momento, o presidente da CPI destacou que não há um rodízio, mas sim a redução da pressão, o que afeta o abastecimento principalmente na região Norte do município, atendida pelo sistema Cantareira. “Precisamos torcer para a chuva. Rodízio eu acredito que não vai haver, mas a falta de água vai se agravar”, previu Benko.

Torneiras secam em São Paulo. Nível baixo do reservatório Atibainha, do sistema Cantareira, é percebido pela marca de água na ponte; desmatamento do Rio Amazonas, a centenas de quilômetros de São Paulo, pode estar contribuindo para a seca. Ao se cortar a floresta, sua capacidade de liberar umidade no ar é reduzida, diminuindo as chuvas no Sudeste Mauricio Lima/The New York Times

Possibilidade de caos social por falta de água em SP mobiliza comando do Exército (Opera Mundi)

Lúcia Rodrigues | São Paulo – 30/04/2015 – 12h43

‘Painel sobre defesa’ organizado pelo Comando Militar do Sudeste tratou possibilidade de capital paulista ficar sem água a partir de julho deste ano como assunto de segurança nacional

Volume morto na represa Jaguari-Jacareí, no Sistema Cantareira, em janeiro desse ano (Mídia Ninja)

Por que o Comando Militar do Sudeste (CMSE) está interessado na crise da falta de água em São Paulo?

A resposta veio na tarde da última terça-feira, 28 de abril, durante o painel organizado pelo Exército, que ocorreu dentro de seu quartel-general no Ibirapuera, zona sul da capital paulista.

Durante mais de três horas de debate, destinado a oficiais, soldados e alguns professores universitários e simpatizantes dos militares que lotaram o auditório da sede do comando em São Paulo, foi se delineando o real motivo do alto generalato brasileiro estar preocupado com um assunto que aparentemente está fora dos padrões de atuação militar.

A senha foi dada pelo diretor da Sabesp, Paulo Massato, que ao lado de Anicia Pio, da Fiesp (Federação das Indústrias do Estado de São Paulo), e do professor de engenharia da Unicamp, Antonio Carlos Zuffo, traçaram um panorama sobre como a crise hídrica está impactando o Estado paulista.

Massato foi claro. Se as obras emergenciais que estão sendo feitas pela companhia não derem resultado e se chover pouco, São Paulo ficará sem água a partir de julho deste ano. O cenário descrito pelo dirigente da Sabesp é catastrófico e digno de roteiro de filme de terror.

“Vai ser o terror. Não vai ter alimentação, não vai ter energia elétrica… Será um cenário de fim de mundo. São milhares de pessoas e o caos social pode se deflagrar. Não será só um problema de desabastecimento de água. Vai ser bem mais sério do que isso…”, enfatiza durante sua intervenção, para na sequência lançar uma súplica de esperança: “Mas espero que isso não aconteça”.

Ele destaca que na região metropolitana de São Paulo vivem 20 milhões de pessoas, quando o ideal seriam quatro milhões. Destas, segundo Massato, três milhões seriam faveladas que furtariam água. “Furtam água ou pegam sem pagar”, conta, arrancando risos da platéia.

Blindagem

Nenhuma crítica, no entanto, foi dirigida ao governador Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB) pelos presentes durante todo o evento. Apenas uma pessoa se manifestou durante a fala de Massato, afirmando que faltou planejamento estatal. Mas foi interrompido por uma espécie de mestre de cerimônias do comando militar  que ciceroneava o evento,  pedindo que ele deixasse a questão para as perguntas a serem dirigidas aos debatedores. A pergunta não voltou a ser apresentada.

Mas o resultado pela falta de investimento e planejamento do governo paulista já provoca calafrios na cervical do establishment do Estado. As cenas de Itu podem se reproduzir em escala exponencial na região metropolitana de São Paulo. E é contra isso que o Exército quer se precaver.

O dirigente da Sabesp citou um caso que ocorreu na região do Butantã, zona oeste da capital. De acordo com ele, houve uma reação violenta porque a água não chegou em pontos mais altos do bairro. “Não chegou na casa do ‘chefe’, e aí ele mandou incendiar três ônibus. Aqui o pessoal é mais organizado…”

Em sua intervenção, a dirigente da Fiesp, Anícia Pio, frisa que muito se tem falado sobre a crise de abastecimento da população, mas que não se pode desconsiderar o impacto sobre a indústria paulista. “A crise só não foi maior, porque a crise econômica chegou (para desacelerar a produção).”

De acordo com ela, o emprego de milhares de pessoas que trabalham no setor está em risco se houver o agravamento da crise hídrica.

Se depender das projeções apresentadas pelo professor Zuffo, da Unicamp, a situação vai se complicar.  Segundo ele, o ciclo de escassez de água pode durar 20, 30 anos.

Moradores do Jardim Umuarama, em rodízio não oficializado pelo governo de SP (Sarah Pabst)

A empresária destaca ainda que não se produz água em fábricas e que, por isso, é preciso investir no reuso e em novas tecnologias de sustentabilidade. E critica o excesso de leis para o setor, que de acordo com ela é superior a mil.

O comandante militar do Sudeste, general João Camilo Pires de Campos, anfitrião do evento, se sensibilizou com as criticas da representante da Fiesp e prometeu conversar pessoalmente com o presidente da Assembléia Legislativa de São Paulo, deputado Fernando Capez (PSDB),  sobre o excesso de legislação que atrapalha o empresariado.

Ele também enfatiza que é preciso conscientizar a população sobre a falta de água e lamenta a grande concentração populacional na região. “Era preciso quatro milhões e temos 20 milhões…”, afirma se referindo aos números apresentados por Massato.

O general Campos destaca a importância da realização de obras, mas adverte que “não se faz engenharia para amanhã”. E cita para a plateia uma expressão do ex-presidente, e também general do Exército, Ernesto Geisel, para definir o que precisa ser feito. “O presidente Geisel dizia que na época de vacas magras é preciso amarrar o bezerro.”

“Não há solução fácil, o problema é sério”, conclui o comandante.

Sério e, por isso, tratado como assunto de segurança nacional pelo Exército. O crachá distribuído aos presentes pelo Comando Militar do Sudeste trazia a inscrição: Painel sobre defesa.

Drought Frames Economic Divide of Californians (New York Times)

COMPTON, Calif. — Alysia Thomas, a stay-at-home mother in this working-class city, tells her children to skip a bath on days when they do not play outside; that holds down the water bill. Lillian Barrera, a housekeeper who travels 25 miles to clean homes in Beverly Hills, serves dinner to her family on paper plates for much the same reason. In the fourth year of a severe drought, conservation is a fine thing, but in this Southern California community, saving water means saving money.

The challenge of California’s drought is starkly different in Cowan Heights, a lush oasis of wealth and comfort 30 miles east of here. That is where Peter L. Himber, a pediatric neurologist, has decided to stop watering the gently sloping hillside that he spent $100,000 to turn into a green California paradise, seeding it with a carpet of rich native grass and installing a sprinkler system fit for a golf course. But that is also where homeowners like John Sears, a retired food-company executive, bristle with defiance at the prospect of mandatory cuts in water use.

“This is a high fire-risk area,” Mr. Sears said. “If we cut back 35 percent and all these homes just let everything go, what’s green will turn brown. Tell me how the fire risk will increase.”

The fierce drought that is gripping the West — and the imminent prospect of rationing and steep water price increases in California — is sharpening the deep economic divide in this state, illustrating parallel worlds in which wealthy communities guzzle water as poorer neighbors conserve by necessity. The daily water consumption rate was 572.4 gallons per person in Cowan Heights from July through September 2014, the hot and dry summer months California used to calculate community-by-community water rationing orders; it was 63.6 gallons per person in Compton during that same period.

Now, California is trying to turn that dynamic on its head, forcing the state’s biggest water users, which include some of the wealthiest communities, to bear the brunt of the statewide 25 percent cut in urban water consumption ordered by Gov. Jerry Brown. Cowan Heights is facing a 36 percent cut in its water use, compared with 8 percent for Compton.

Other wealthy communities that must cut 36 percent include Beverly Hills and Hillsborough, a luxury town in Silicon Valley. Along with Compton, other less wealthy communities facing more modest cuts include Inglewood, which has been told to reduce its water consumption by 12 percent over what it was in 2013.

The looming question now, with drought regulations set to be adopted next month, is whether conservation tools being championed by this state — $10,000-a-day fines for water agencies, higher prices for bigger water users or even, in the most extreme cases, a reduction in water supplies — will be effective with wealthy homeowners. Since their lawns are more often than not tended to by gardeners, they may have little idea just how much water they use.

Gail Lord in her garden in Cowan Heights, which is facing a 36 percent cut in its water use.CreditMonica Almeida/The New York Times 

As it is, the legality of conservation — the practice of charging higher water rates to people who consume more for big water use — came under question when a court ruled that a tiered-pricing system used by an Orange County city ran afoul of the State Constitution and sent it back to allow the city to try to bring it into compliance.

“The wealthy use more water, electricity and natural gas than anyone else,” said Stephanie Pincetl, the director of the California Center for Sustainable Communities at the University of California, Los Angeles. “They have bigger properties. They are less price sensitive. So if you can afford it, you use it.”

“Then it becomes a moral question,” she said. “But lots of wealthy people don’t pay their own bills, so they don’t know what the water costs.”

Brown Lawns vs. Lush Ones

In Compton, where residents often pay their bills in cash or installments, lawns are brown and backyard pools are few or empty. In Cowan Heights, where residents are involved in a rancorous dispute with a water company over rate increases, water is a luxury worth paying for as homeowners shower their lush lawns and top off pools and koi ponds.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS

The Times asked Californians for their thoughts on the drought and how it affects them.

John Montgomery, Oak Park : “It doesn’t matter whether you are conservative or liberal, a religious fundamentalist or a raging athiest, rich or poor, we all need drinking water, and we all eat things that need water to grow to be very simple about it.”

Stephen Babatsias, Los Angeles: “Rich neighborhoods with lush gardens, like Hancock Park, are still as rich and lush looking as before, filled with oxygen and opulent foliage. Everything looks and feels the same so far.”

Edie Marshall, Davis: “Call it fatalistic, but why should I try even harder when so many have done little or nothing? I’m not going to cut back on my showers while rich people in southern California have nice lawns”

Kathleen Naples, Avalon: “Catalina Island has a desal plant with old diesel generators which could be updated and co-generation could be used. Edison runs it very poorly. This is a tourist economy, so tourists waste water and residents are fined and suffer shut-offs.”

Cheryl Trout, Palm Desert: “We are in a 5,000 home golf course community, which has recycled it’s waste water since it was built for watering golf courses and community landscaping. It would be nice if that water could also be used for individual yards. More communities need to switch to this model.”

Daniel Sawyer, San Bernardino: “I am pretty conscientious about water, energy, and waste, so I appreciate this official acknowledgement of the problem. I foresee a lot of Californians paying fines and fees because they will recklessly continue to waste water despite Governor Brown’s orders.”

“Just because you can afford to use something doesn’t mean you should,” said Aja Brown, the mayor of Compton, as she sat in her second-floor office with windows overlooking the light-rail Blue Line tracks that cut through town. “We’re all in this together. We all have to make sure we consume less.”

Hints of class resentment can be heard on the streets of Compton.

“I have a garden — it’s dying,” said Ms. Barrera, the housekeeper, as she left the water department at Compton City Hall, where she had just paid a $253 two-month water bill. “My grass is drying. I try to save water. In Beverly Hills, they have a big garden and run laundry all the time. It doesn’t matter.”

Rod Lopez, a contractor from Compton who tends to homes here and along the wealthy Newport Beach coast, said he was startled at the different attitudes he found toward water consumption in communities just 30 miles apart.

“I work in Newport Beach: I see water running all day long,” he said. “We’ve gotten so tight over here. Everything is irrigated over there. They may get fined for it — they don’t care. They have the money to pay the fines.”

Compton and Cowan Heights, which is 10 miles from Disneyland, could hardly be more different, and it is not only a matter of water. The median household income in Compton is $42,953, and 26 percent of the population lives below the poverty line; 67 percent of the population is Hispanic. In North Tustin, the census-designated community that includes Cowan Heights, the median household income is $122,662, and less than 3 percent of the population lives below the poverty line; 84 percent of the population is white.

Since the first homes sprang up in Cowan Heights in the 1950s in what had been hilly horse pastures, water and money have made this neighborhood of doctors, lawyers and wealthy retirees bloom. Even as the drought has worsened and water rates have climbed, residents have continued consuming hundreds of gallons a day and paying — albeit with more than a little grousing — water bills that have soared to $400 or $500 a month.

Many people say they are trying to use less: They are capping their sprinkler systems, installing expensive new drip-watering systems or replacing their thirsty lawns with starkly beautiful desert landscapes. But they can also afford to buy their way out of the drought, assuming that fines will be the primary punishment for those who do not conserve, and that the water will keep flowing for those who can pay.

Some Cowan Heights residents say their neighbors have enough money not to pay heed to rising prices, and are content to let their landscapers use as much water as necessary to keep their homes in bloom. Landscapers’ trucks are parked around nearly every twisting road, tending to avocado and lemon trees, plush lawns, and riots of purple hibiscus and scarlet bougainvillea.

“They don’t even think about it,” said Gail Lord, a resident who keeps a blog cataloging the gardens around Cowan Heights.

Salvador Garcia, a gardener, mowed a lawn in Compton, where 26 percent of the population lives below the poverty line and which is already using less water by financial necessity.Credit Monica Almeida/The New York Times 

On Deerhaven Drive, Craig Beam and his wife saw their water-scarce future after a landscaper stomped at the base of their Chinese elm and declared the roots hollow and parched. “Nobody’s going to go broke around here paying their water bills,” Mr. Beam said.

Still, in a sign that even the wealthy have their limits, the drought is exacerbating a dispute between Cowan Heights residents and their for-profit water provider, the Golden State Water Company, offering a glimpse of fights to come as local water agencies impose higher prices to meet California’s new conservation mandates. The neighborhood is bristling with lawn signs reading, “Stop the Water Ripoff!”

Calculating Costs

Residents complain their water bills have soared as Golden State Water imposed a three-tier pricing system that charges more for higher water use, the kind of conservation pricing that state water regulators are championing. The company is now seeking to add a fourth, even higher price tier. “Golden State Water’s rates reflect the true cost to operate and maintain the water system,” said Denise Kruger, a senior vice president of the company.

That has not appeased water users.

Ms. Lord and her husband, Alan Bartky, outside their home in Cowan Heights, where the median household income is $122,662. CreditMonica Almeida/The New York Times 

“Water is a necessity of life,” said Mr. Sears, the retired food-company executive, whose bimonthly water bills regularly run $400 or $500 but went as high as $756 last September. “It should not be sold as a commodity.”

Thirty miles away, the economy in Compton is on the upswing as this region comes out of the recession. Still, Compton Boulevard, the axis around which the 127-year-old community was settled, is filled with reminders of the poverty and crime that are still here: Check-cashing stores and bail bondsmen. Many homes have gates over their windows.

Compton has a storied history of gang wars and has produced some of the bigger names in rap music, including Kendrick Lamar and Ice Cube. The unemployment rate in Compton was 11.8 percent in February, compared with 6.7 percent statewide. (There are no comparable numbers for Cowan Heights, since it is an unincorporated region.)

This city is a neat grid of postage-stamp-size front lawns, many of them brown or choked with weeds. There are few pools or ornamental fountains in this part of the county; the fountains in front of City Hall have been turned off.

After not budging for 25 years, water prices began rising in 2005 and have increased about 93 percent since then. The city, which has 81,963 water consumers, has also set up a two-tiered system to charge heavier users more, though it remains to be seen if that and other tiered systems will be challenged in the wake of the court ruling in Orange County last week. A typical water bill here is $70 a month.

Alysia Thomas with her daughter Raven and son Darian outside their home in Compton, where a typical water bill is $70 a month. Credit Monica Almeida/The New York Times 

“To me the issue is keeping down the cost,” said Ms. Thomas, 41, the stay-at-home mother. “Conservation is a cost-saving thing for me.” She leaned over the fence of her home that she shares with her husband and children, looking over her compact patch of lawn that surrounds her home and another small cottage, where her mother lives.

Chad Blais, the deputy director of public works at Compton, said people often paid their water bill in cash or pleaded for an extension. “We do have a large community that is month-to-month on their pay,” he said. “They don’t have a high water usage mainly because they can’t afford it. They’ll call and tell us they’re choosing to pay for food or medicine.”

Under Governor Brown’s 25 percent statewide reduction order, about 400 local water agencies are responsible for cuts ranging from 4 percent to 36 percent. Water companies are limiting how often people can water their yards — twice a week for Golden State customers — and barring them from washing down pavement or using drinking water to wash a car.

If water providers cannot get customers to conserve enough voluntarily, they can resort to financial penalties: Golden State said it would fine offenders in Cowan Heights and other communities it serves $500 a day.

California’s water-control board has zeroed in on Cowan Heights and its 5,399 water customers as some of the most spendthrift water users. The benchmark measurement from last summer put it high on the list of 94 water districts that must cut their water use by 36 percent under the proposed new rules.

Compton residents often pay their water bills in cash or installments at City Hall.Credit Monica Almeida/The New York Times 

“It is somewhat of an outlier,” Toby Moore, the chief hydrogeologist for Golden State Water, said of Cowan Heights. “There’s been a lot of investment into those properties, so water use is higher to address the landscaping of those properties.”

Some people in Cowan Heights are planning to let their lawns go brown, though more out of a spirit of conservation than economic necessity.

“We’ll replace that with rocks,” said Dr. Himber, the neurologist, as he and his landscaper walked the grounds.

Ms. Lord, the blogger, walked around her home, tucked amid flower-splashed hillsides behind a stately automated gate, and surveyed her roses with a fatalistic eye. “Doomed,” she said, nodding at the flowers, blooming wedding-white and dance-hall pink. “Doomed.”

‘A Bad Message’

About 80 percent of the water in this state is used by agriculture, so the amount of water that might be saved by cuts in wealthy and relatively sparsely populated areas will not be large.

But the disparity in behavior is a matter of concern among state water regulators, as is the worry that high prices will not have the same kind of impact on water use in, say, Cowan Heights as they might in Compton.

“That is the challenge,” said Jeffrey Kightlinger, the general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which provides water for about 19 million people. “We are finding it works with 90 percent of the public. You still have certain wealthy communities that won’t bother. And the price penalty doesn’t impact them. It sends a bad message.”

David L. Feldman, who studies water policy at the University of California, Irvine, said a big risk for state water regulators would be if the public concluded that water-conservation policies were “falling disproportionately on those who are less able to meet those goals.”

Ms. Barrera, the housekeeper, said she had thought she was doing her part, and she spoke of the lush gardens and sweeping pools she sees in Beverly Hills.

“I’m using a lot less,” Ms. Barrera said. At that, she glanced down at the just-paid water bill she was still holding in her hand. “But I guess it’s not enough.”

Alckmin descarta repor volume morto até abril (Estadão)

Fabio Leite e Lucas Sampaio – O Estado de S. Paulo

31 Março 2015 | 03h 00

Pela primeira vez, governo admite que chuvas não vão tirar o Sistema Cantareira da dependência da reserva profunda

SÃO PAULO – Mesmo com as chuvas acima da média em fevereiro e março, o Sistema Cantareira não vai conseguir recuperar totalmente o volume morto até o fim de abril, admitiu pela primeira vez o governo Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB). Projeção feita pelo Departamento de Águas e Energia Elétrica (DAEE) revela que o principal manancial paulista deve encerrar o próximo mês com nível 6% abaixo de zero, ou seja, ainda na reserva profunda.

“Poderemos atingir um total armazenado em torno de 420 bilhões de litros, ao fim de abril, 65 bilhões de litros abaixo do ‘zero’ do volume útil por gravidade”, afirmou o superintendente do DAEE, Ricardo Borsari, em ofício encaminhado ao presidente da Agência Nacional de Águas (ANA), Vicente Andreu, no dia 20 deste mês.

O volume de água é o mesmo registrado em 21 de agosto do ano passado. Os dois órgãos são responsáveis pela gestão conjunta do Sistema Cantareira.

Sistema Cantareira abastece 5,6 milhões 

Sistema Cantareira abastece 5,6 milhões

O manancial, formado por quatro represas, tem 1,47 trilhão de litros, dos quais 982 bilhões fazem parte do volume útil, porque ficam acima do nível dos túneis de captação e podem ser retirados por gravidade, e 485 bilhões, do volume morto, que só podem ser captados por bombas. Destes, 287,5 bilhões de litros foram liberados em duas cotas para a Companhia de Saneamento Básico do Estado de São Paulo (Sabesp) abastecer a região metropolitana, onde 5,6 milhões de pessoas ainda dependem da água do sistema.

Nesta segunda-feira, 30, o Cantareira operava com 18,9% da capacidade, segundo a Sabesp, que inclui as duas cotas do volume morto no cálculo. Na prática, contudo, o nível estava em -10,4%, se considerada a quantidade de água da reserva profunda usada como negativo, como quer o Ministério Público Estadual (MPE). No sábado, o Estado mostrou que o sistema tem atualmente 57% menos água do que há um ano, déficit de 243 bilhões de litros.

O documento faz parte das negociações entre a ANA, do governo Dilma Rousseff, e o DAEE, do governo Alckmin, para definir a retirada de água do Cantareira. Por causa das discordâncias entre os órgãos, desde 15 de março o manancial é operado pela Sabesp sem uma regra estabelecida.

O presidente da agência federal quer definir uma metodologia de operação e metas futuras de armazenamento até 30 de novembro.

No ofício, Borsari diz que a projeção considera a manutenção das atuais condições de entrada de água (60% das médias mensais históricas) e retirada (10 mil litros por segundo), como ocorre desde fevereiro. Neste cenário, o volume morto só será recuperado no dia 22 de julho, segundo o simulador lançado em janeiro pelo Estado.

Justiça. Em ação civil movida em 2014, o MPE pede que os gestores do Cantareira e da Sabesp operem o manancial para que ele chegue ao fim de abril com 10% positivos, mesmo índice registrado em 30 de abril do ano passado. O governo Alckmin afirma que essa meta é impossível de ser atingida.

Após duas liminares terem sido concedidas e depois derrubas pela Justiça, o juiz federal Wilson Zauhy Filho decidiu, na semana passada, suspender o processo até o dia 11 de maio, quando o DAEE se comprometeu a entregar, em juízo, os estudos da proposta que será feita pela Sabesp para a renovação da outorga do Sistema Cantareira e as respostas às propostas feitas pela ANA para a gestão do manancial durante a crise.

‘Escolha foi respeitar rito ambiental ou fornecer água’, diz secretário de SP (Folha de S.Paulo)

[Detalhe para o uso da palavra “rito”]

FABRÍCIO LOBEL
GUSTAVO URIBE
DE SÃO PAULO
EDUARDO SCOLESE
EDITOR DE “COTIDIANO”

30/03/2015  03h00

Em meio à pior crise de abastecimento enfrentada pela Grande SP, o secretário estadual Benedito Braga (Recursos Hídricos) diz que a gestão Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB) teve de escolher: levar água para a população no período de seca ou respeitar o rito ambiental tradicional para dar andamento a obras emergenciais.

Foi escolhida a primeira opção, de acordo com ele.

“Se fossem respeitados os ritos, não teríamos condições de prover essa água à população em julho [de 2015]”, afirma o secretário, que diz que deverão ser usados “atalhos” para cumprir as exigências.

Em entrevista à Folha, o secretário, que assumiu a pasta em janeiro em meio à crise de abastecimento, avaliou como muito reduzidas as chances de um rodízio de água neste ano.

Para Braga, que é professor de engenharia hidráulica da USP e presidente do Conselho Mundial da Água, as pessoas que torcem pelo rodízio querem ver uma “situação realmente ruim” em SP.

Entre as principais obras emergenciais previstas para este ano está a ligação entre dois mananciais, o Rio Grande e o Alto Tietê. Outras deverão reverter rios da Serra do Mar, alguns em área de Mata Atlântica, para abastecer os reservatórios da Grande SP.

Karime Xavier/Folhapress
O secretário estadual Recursos Hídricos Benedito Braga (Recursos Hídricos)
O secretário estadual de Recursos Hídricos, Benedito Braga, durante entrevista à Folha

*

Folha – Um rodízio neste ano está completamente descartado em São Paulo?

Benedito Braga – Em função das condições que prevalecem nos nossos sistemas de armazenamento, as chances de termos um rodízio são bastante baixas –e nós estamos trabalhando da forma mais conservadora possível, não fazendo hipóteses de que vamos ter grandes chuvas daqui para frente.

É importante observar que, depois dessa crise, não temos uma condição de previsibilidade [de chuvas] muito boa, como tínhamos antes.

Então, não podemos garantir que não vamos ter rodízio. Temos tudo preparado para tomar as decisões dependendo da condição do clima que prevalecer neste ano. Tudo vai depender de como vem a estação seca [de abril a setembro].

Qual deve ser o custo da crise neste ano para a população?

O custo não será diferente do que está sendo agora. Durante este ano, nós teremos ainda que adotar medidas de redução de pressão que incomodam as pessoas, porque é uma situação fora do normal.

É muito importante termos em conta que a situação que vivemos é muito melhor do que uma situação de rodízio.

Haverá um custo muito menor do que aquele que teríamos se implantássemos o rodízio [interrupção completa do fornecimento de água].

O balanço financeiro da Sabesp relativo a 2014 mostrou que o lucro da empresa caiu pela metade. Essa queda será repassada ao consumidor?

O que houve foi uma queda no lucro [de R$ 1,9 bilhão para R$ 903 milhões]. A redução do lucro era esperada, em função da redução do consumo e da concessão de bônus.

Não tem como repassar para a população, isso é um resultado que tivemos em função da crise da água.

Mas essa queda poderá impactar as obras programadas para este ano?

Não. O custo dessas obras não é exagerado. Há previsão orçamentária e não há atraso nenhum nas obras sob o ponto de vista físico e financeiro.

Pela urgência das obras, a questão ambiental não está sendo atropelada?

Nós temos uma situação em que, se fossem seguidos os ritos tradicionais do setor ambiental, nós não teríamos condições de prover essa água à população em julho.

Então, a questão é uma escolha. O que vocês preferem: seguir o rito ambiental ou trazer água para a população?

O governo fez a escolha?

Fez a escolha de seguir o rito dentro da emergência. E, dentro da emergência, você tem atalhos para o setor ambiental. Tudo está sendo feito dentro da mais absoluta regra da lei e da ordem.

A única coisa é que isso teve que ser feito de uma forma mais rápida. E o rito, dentro dessa forma mais rápida, é diferente das obras tradicionais, em que você tem o relatório de impacto ambiental, audiência pública e assim por diante.

Mas a Cetesb faz todas as análises, (…) e o governo não está fazendo nada fora da lei.

Está sendo feita uma obra de emergência, mas dentro de todos os ritos da lei de licitações e da lei ambiental.

As chuvas recentes fizeram com que o governo estadual recuasse na transparência em relação à crise, como não informar o real risco de um rodízio? Não são os mesmos erros do ano passado?

Não, não há erros nem em 2014 nem em 2015 e não haverá erros em 2016. Trabalhamos com uma boa expectativa de passar este ano, mas nos preparando para o pior, que é um plano de contingência.

Estamos fazendo tudo dentro da mais absoluta técnica. Não existe falta de transparência, porque informamos diariamente a situação dos reservatórios da região metropolitana. Não há nenhuma falta de transparência.

Como o senhor classifica a atual situação?

Nós estamos caminhando para ocupar minimamente o volume morto, o que significa que ainda é uma situação muito difícil. Nós gostaríamos que o reservatório estivesse praticamente cheio.

Mas, com essa reserva que estamos acumulando e com as obras que estamos trazendo, temos a possibilidade de superar a crise, mas não é ainda uma situação confortável.

O sr. disse que não houve erros em 2014. Como eleitor, mesmo fora do cargo, o sr. se sentiu atendido pelas declarações do governo sobre a crise?

As decisões tomadas foram corretas. Em 2014, ainda havia o final do ano como uma época em que normalmente há as chuvas e os reservatórios enchem.

Então, tomar uma medida como o rodízio, como muita gente queria, eu sempre fui publicamente contra. Entraram com o incentivo econômico [bônus para quem economizar], depois com as válvulas redutoras de pressão. E foi tudo muito lógico.

Mas a sobretaxa veio só depois da eleição…

Não quero entrar nesse detalhe de sobretaxa [pagamento adicional para quem extrapolar o consumo médio]. O que estou dizendo é que o que foi feito em 2014 foi certo.

Esse negócio de dizer que o governo errou não está certo. Talvez, as pessoas que insistiram muito em rodízio queriam ver uma situação realmente ruim. Seria fácil fazer o rodízio, é só fechar a manivela. O duro é fazer o que a Sabesp fez: colocar válvulas e sofrer o impacto econômico de colocar o bônus.

Então o sr. acha que ter negado que haveria desabastecimento e que seriam usados os dois volumes mortos foram medidas acertadas?

O resultado foi muito bom. Não tivemos desabastecimento, tivemos 1% da população impactada com as medidas. Portanto não tenho crítica.

Mas há problemas de desabastecimento em alguns bairros na periferia de São Paulo…

Não se pode negar que haja uma crise hídrica. É como em uma guerra dizer: “Você vai me matar com uma uma [arma calibre] 45 ou com uma 22?”. É querer colocar regra em meio a uma situação muito complicada. É querer que todo mundo tenha água quando tivemos um ano de 2014 que teve 50% menos água que a mínima de 1953.

A tarifa hoje é muito barata?

São Paulo tem uma das menores tarifas do Brasil. Tem 21 Estados que praticam tarifas acima da tarifa da Sabesp.

Acho que o custo da água, em função da dificuldade de encontrar novos mananciais e dos custos operacionais… Acho que a tarifa hoje no Estado é aquém do necessário.

A crise traz algum benefício?

Acho que sim. O pessoal no Sudeste não sabia que tinha que fazer a barba abrindo e fechando a torneira. O nordestino já sabia disso há muito tempo. A crise trouxe essa consciência.

Sabesp inicia obras às pressas sem avaliar risco (OESP)

Fabio Leite – O Estado de S. Paulo

15 Março 2015 | 02h 01

Companhia de Saneamento Básico do Estado de São Paulo desengavetou planos sem ter tempo de estudar impacto ambiental

SÃO PAULO – A busca por novos mananciais para suprir a escassez hídrica a curto prazo e tentar evitar o rodízio oficial de água na Grande São Paulo levou a Companhia de Saneamento Básico do Estado de São Paulo (Sabesp) a tirar do papel uma série de projetos engavetados há anos e a executá-los a toque de caixa sem Estudo de Impacto Ambiental (EIA), aprovação em comitês ou decreto de estado de emergência.

Até o momento, são seis obras (uma já concluída) que envolvem transposições entre rios e reservatórios com o objetivo de aumentar a oferta de água para conseguir abastecer 20 milhões de pessoas durante o período seco (que vai de abril a setembro) sem decretar racionamento generalizado. A principal delas é a interligação do Sistema Rio Grande com o Alto Tietê, o segundo manancial mais crítico (21% da capacidade), melhor só que o Cantareira.

Segundo a Sabesp, já foi iniciada a construção de 11 quilômetros de adutora e uma estação de bombeamento para levar até 4 mil litros por segundo da Billings, no ABC, para a Represa Taiaçupeba, em Suzano. A conclusão está prevista para julho. Técnicos do governo Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB) afirmam, contudo, que uma obra desse porte precisaria de EIA, aprovação no Comitê da Bacia do Alto Tietê, além da outorga do Departamento de Águas e Energia Elétrica de São Paulo (DAEE).

A principal das obras é a interligação do Sistema Rio Grande com o Alto Tietê, o segundo manancial mais crítico (21% da capacidade), melhor só que o Cantareira.

A principal das obras é a interligação do Sistema Rio Grande com o Alto Tietê, o segundo manancial mais crítico (21% da capacidade), melhor só que o Cantareira.

Com a provável reversão das águas do poluído corpo central da Billings para o Braço Rio Grande, já manifestada pela Sabesp, seria preciso ainda aprovação prévia do Conselho Estadual do Meio Ambiente (Consema) e de outorga da Agência Nacional de Energia Elétrica (Aneel), já que a represa também fornece água para geração de energia na Usina Henry Borden, em Cubatão. Todo esse trâmite teve de ser seguido para a execução da ligação Billings-Guarapiranga, pelo Braço Taquacetuba, na crise de 2000.

“Ou o governo decreta estado de emergência para tocar as chamadas obras emergenciais sem licitação e estudo de impacto ambiental, com perda de capacidade de concorrência e de participação social, ou então licita e produz os relatórios necessários. Do jeito que está, há uma incoerência brutal”, afirmou o engenheiro Darcy Brega Filho, especialista em gestão de sustentabilidade e ex-funcionário da Sabesp.

Mar. No pacote de obras emergenciais estão a interligação de dois rios de vertente marítima (que deságuam no mar), Itatinga e Capivari, para rios que são afluentes das Represas Jundiaí (Alto Tietê) e Guarapiranga. As duas intervenções recém-anunciadas pela Sabesp já constavam do Plano Diretor de Águas e Abastecimento (PDAA) de 2004 e ficaram engavetadas. Cada uma deve aumentar a vazão dos sistemas em 1 mil litros por segundo e também precisariam de aprovação do Comitê da Bacia da Baixada Santista.

“Sem dúvida, é preciso de obras emergenciais para trazer água para a região metropolitana, mas isso não anula uma avaliação mais acurada desse conjunto de transposições para calcular a eficiência desses projetos e seus efeitos indiretos”, afirmou o especialista em recursos hídricos José Galizia Tundisi, presidente do Instituto Internacional de Ecologia e vice-presidente do Instituto Acqua.

Um exemplo citado por funcionários do governo sobre a falta de avaliação dos projetos é a construção de 9 quilômetros de adutora para levar 1 mil litros por segundo do Rio Guaió para a Represa Taiaçupeba. As obras começaram em fevereiro e devem ser concluídas em maio, segundo a Sabesp. Técnicos da área afirmam que durante o período de estiagem a vazão média desse rio é de apenas 300 litros por segundo, ou seja, 70% menor do que a pretendida.

Funcionários da Sabesp marcam greve geral (Conta D’Água)

11 de março de 2015

Trabalhadores contestam as demissões que estão ocorrendo na empresa e vão parar as atividades no dia 19 de março. “Os trabalhadores e a população não podem ser penalizados enquanto a Sabesp quer agradar e atender a demanda dos acionistas”, diz presidente do Sintaema

Por SpressoSP

Os funcionários da Companhia de Saneamento Básico de São Paulo (Sabesp) convocaram, na noite de ontem (10), greve geral a partir do dia 19 de março, por tempo indeterminado. A decisão foi tomada em assembleia no Sindicato dos Trabalhadores em Água, Esgoto e Meio Ambiente de São Paulo (Sintaema).

Foto: Sintame. Em assembléia, centenas de trabalhadores da Sabesp aprovaram greve a partir do dia 19 de março.

O sindicato exige a readmissão dos 400 funcionários pensados pela companhia somente neste ano. “A Sabesp já demitiu 400 e pretende chegar aos 600, não podemos admitir isso. Os trabalhadores são essenciais em todas as situações, e principalmente em um momento como este de crise hídrica”, disse o presidente do Sintaema, Rene Vicente, durante o encontro.

“Somos totalmente contra qualquer demissão. Os trabalhadores e a população não podem ser penalizados enquanto a Sabesp quer agradar e atender a demanda dos acionistas”, concluiu.

Na última semana, a Sabesp iniciou um plano de reestruturação em seu quadro pessoal. De acordo com o Sintaema, 300 dispensas já haviam sido homologadas em todo o estado, sendo 70% na área operacional da empresa.

A Major Surge in Atmospheric Warming Is Probably Coming in the Next Five Years (Motherboard)

Written by NAFEEZ AHMED

March 2, 2015 // 08:25 PM CET

Forget the so-called ‘pause’ in global warming—new research says we might be in for an era of deeply accelerated heating.

While the rate of atmospheric warming in recent years has, indeed, slowed due to various natural weather cycles—hence the skeptics’ droning on about “pauses”—global warming, as a whole, has not stopped. Far from it. It’s actually sped up, dramatically, as excess heat has absorbed into the oceans. We’ve only begun to realize the extent of this phenomenon in recent years, after scientists developed new technologies capable of measuring ocean temperatures with a depth and precision that was previously lacking.

In 2011, a paper in Geophysical Research Letters tallied up the total warming data from land, air, ice, and the oceans. In 2012, the lead author of that study, oceanographer John Church, updated his research. What Church found was shocking: in recent decades, climate change has been adding on average around 125 trillion Joules of heat energy to the oceans per second.

How to convey this extraordinary fact? His team came up with an analogy: it was roughly the same amount of energy that would be released by the detonation of two atomic bombs the size dropped on Hiroshima. In other words, these scientists found that anthropogenic climate is warming the oceans at a rate equivalent to around two Hiroshima bombs per second. But as new data came in, the situation has looked worse: over the last 17 years, the rate of warming has doubled to about four bombs per second. In 2013, the rate of warming tripled to become equivalent to 12 Hiroshima bombs every second.

So not only is warming intensifying, it is also accelerating. By burning fossil fuels, humans are effectively detonating 378 million atomic bombs in the oceans each year—this, along with the ocean’s over-absorption of carbon dioxide, has fuelled ocean acidification, and now threatens the entire marine food chain as well as animals who feed on marine species. Like, er, many humans.

According to a new paper from a crack team of climate scientists, a key reason that the oceans are absorbing all this heat in recent decades so well (thus masking the extent of global warming by allowing atmospheric average temperatures to heat more slowly), is due to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), an El Nino-like weather pattern that can last anywhere between 15-30 years.

In its previous positive phase, which ran from around 1977 to 1998, the PDO meant the oceans would absorb less heat, thus operating as an accelerator on atmospheric temperatures. Since 1998, the PDO has been in a largely negative phase, during which the oceans absorb more heat from the atmosphere.

Such decadal ocean cycles have broken down recently, and become more sporadic. The last, mostly negative phase, was punctuated by a brief positive phase that lasted 3 years between 2002 and 2005. The authors of the new study, Penn State climatologist Michael Mann, University of Minnesota geologist Byron Steinman, and Penn State meteorologist Sonya Miller, point out that the PDO, as well as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), have thus played a major role in temporarily dampening atmospheric warming.

“In other words, the ‘slowdown’ is fleeting and will likely soon disappear.”

So what has happened? During this period, Mann and his team show, there has been increased “heat burial” in the Pacific ocean, that is, a greater absorption of all that heat equivalent to hundreds of millions of Hiroshimas. For some, this has created the false impression, solely from looking at global average surface air temperatures, of a ‘pause’ in warming. But as Mann said, the combination of the AMO and PDO “likely offset anthropogenic warming over the past decade.”

Therefore, the “pause” doesn’t really exist, and instead is an artifact of the limitations of our different measuring instruments.

“The ‘false pause’ is explained in part by cooling in the Pacific ocean over the past one-to-two decades,” Mann told me, “but that is likely to reverse soon: in other words, the ‘slowdown’ is fleeting and will likely soon disappear.”

The disappearance of the ‘slowdown’ will, in tangible terms, mean that the oceans will absorb less atmospheric heat. While all the accumulated ocean heat “is certainly not going to pop back out,” NASA’s chief climate scientist Dr. Gavin Schmidt told me, it is likely to mean that less atmospheric heat will end up being absorbed. “Ocean cycles can modulate the uptake of anthropogenic heat, as some have speculated for the last decade or so, but… net flux is still going to be going into the ocean.”

According to Mann and his team, at some point, this will manifest as an acceleration in the rise of global average surface air temperatures. In their Science study, they observe: “Given the pattern of past historical variation, this trend will likely reverse with internal variability, instead adding to anthropogenic warming in the coming decades.”

So at some point in the near future, the PDO will switch from its current negative phase back to positive, reducing the capacity of the oceans to accumulate heat from the atmosphere. That positive phase of the PDO will therefore see a rapid rise in global surface air temperatures, as the oceans’ capacity to absorb all those Hiroshima bomb equivalents declines—and leaves it to accumulate in our skies. In other words, after years of slower-than-expected warming, we may suddenly feel the heat.

So when will that happen? No one knows for sure, but at the end of last year, signs emerged that the phase shift to a positive PDO could be happening right now.

In the five months before November 2014, measures of surface temperature differences in the Pacific shifted to positive, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This is the longest such positive shift detected in about 12 years. Although too soon to determine for sure whether this is, indeed, the beginning of the PDO’s switch to a new positive phase, this interpretation is consistent with current temperature variations, which during a positive PDO phase should be relatively warm in the tropical Pacific and relatively cool in regions north of about 20 degrees latitude.

In January 2015, further signs emerged that the PDO is right now in transition to a new warm phase. “Global warming is about the get a boost,” ventured meteorologist Eric Holthaus. Recent data including California’s intensifying drought and sightings of tropical fish off the Alaskan coast “are further evidence of unusual ocean warming,” suggesting that a PDO transition “may already be underway a new warm phase.”

While it’s still not clear whether the PDO is really shifting into a new phase just yet, when it does, it won’t be good. Scientists from the UK Met Office’s Hadley Center led by Dr. Chris Roberts of the Oceans and Cryosphere Group estimate in a new paper in Nature that there is an 85 percent chance the faux ‘pause’ will end in the next five years, followed by a burst of warming likely to consist of a decade or so of warm ocean oscillations.

Roberts and his team found that a “slow down” period is usually (60 percent of the time) followed by rapid warming at twice the background rate for at least five years, and potentially longer. And mostly, this warming would be concentrated in the Arctic, a region where temperatures are already higher than the global average, and which is widely recognized to be a barometer of the health of the global climate due to how Arctic changes dramatically alter trends elsewhere. Recent extreme weather events around the world have been attributed to the melting Arctic ice sheets and the impact on ocean circulations and jet streams.

What this means, if the UK Met Office is right, is that we probably have five years (likely less) before we witness a supercharged surge of rapid global warming that could last a decade, further destabilizing the climate system in deeply unpredictable ways.

California’s terrifying climate forecast: It could face droughts nearly every year (Washington Post)

March 2 2015

Not long ago, scientists at NASA and two major universities warned of an inevitable “megadrought” that will parch the southwestern United States for 35 years, starting around 2050. By then, a new study says, Californians should be fairly accustomed to long, harsh and dry conditions.

Over the past 15 years, temperatures have been rising in the Golden State, resulting in annual periods of extreme and blazing heat, while the cycle of low and moderate precipitation cycles have not changed since 1977. That means that it’s far more likely that extreme heat years will coincide with dry years.

[NASA: A ‘megadrought’ will grip U.S. in the coming decades]

That’s a recipe for drought, the authors said. Mix searing heat with little to no rain and snow, then bake.

Unlike other climate studies that sound an alarm for impact far into the future, the Stanford University study led by associate professor Noah Diffenbaugh pored through historical data from the U.S. National Climatic Data Center to explain current conditionsand concluded that California should get used to it. It was published Monday afternoon in the journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Diffenbaugh and two graduate students at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy an Environmental Sciences explored the role temperature has played in California’s drought for 120 years. Between 1896 and 1994, climate patterns in the state created a 50 percent chance that a year of extremely warm temperatures would merge with a year of moderately dry conditions. But between 1995 and 2014, extreme temperature years were so common that their chance of combining with dry years increased to 80 percent.

The forecast is negative, but not necessarily the outlook, the authors said. California has opportunities to manage its risks with smart water policies that use precipitation to bank ground water so that farms, which use 77 percent of the state’s water, can survive. The statewide water use is similar to what it was 40 years ago, meaning that even though the population has exploded to 33 million, Californians share about as much water now as they did in the 1970s.

State officials can learn from advanced water management practices already in use in the Middle East in nations such as Saudi Arabia and Israel.

“California was already on the cusp, where 100 percent of the years are not only warm but severely warm,” said Diffenbaugh, a senior fellow at Stanford’s university’s Woods Institute for the Environment. “When a low precipitation year occurs with warm conditions, it’s twice as likely to result in drought.”

[Tropical forests may be vanishing even faster than previously thought]

As part of the study, the researchers also observed the impact of greenhouse gases from human activity — carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane from power plants, vehicles, factories and other sources — on temperature and precipitation, Diffenbaugh said. Graduate students Daniel Swain and Danielle Touma were co-authors for the study.

“A lot of this paper is about greenhouse gas emissions that have already happened,” Diffenbaugh said. “Really what California is experiencing is the cumulative emissions of greenhouse gases globally. And the United States has been responsible for a large fraction. Historically the United States has been responsible for a quarter of the emissions and the European Union another quarter.”

Even if world governments that are sharply divided over the approach to lowering greenhouse gas emissions somehow managed to reach a consensus, California will still feel the heat well into the future, Diffenbaugh said.

[How dust leaves the Sahara and floats to Amazon forest]

California, the nation’s most populous state, is suffering one of its worst droughts ever, fueled by the exact conditions cited  in the study — record-low precipitation and record-high heat. The lowest calendar year of precipitation on record in the state happened between 2013 and 2014, and 2014 was the hottest year in California history.

Earlier scientific research suggests that the extremely dry and hot period between 2012 and 2014 might be the worst in a millennium, the study said. But even that can’t hold a candle to the droughts expected 35 years from now. Scientists at NASA and at Cornell and Columbia universities said climate models used for a study released two weeks ago show 80 percent chance of an extended drought between 2050 and 2099, lasting more than three decades if world governments fail to act aggressively to mitigate the effects of climate change.
North America has experienced so-called megadroughts before, during the 12th and 13th centuries. But those were caused by natural changes in weather patterns that give megadroughts a 10 percent chance of forming at any time. The harsh future drought will be the result of human-caused warming.

An international panel of leading climate scientists said in 2013 that the planet is warming at an accelerated pace and found with 95 percent certainty that human activity is the cause. The past three decades have been the hottest on the planet since 1850. Carbon concentrations in the atmosphere have increased 40 percent since then, and carbon, methane and nitrous oxide are at levels unprecedented in at least 800,000 years.

“With climate change, the likelihood of a megadrought goes up considerably,” said Toby R. Ault, an assistant professor in the department of Earth and atmospheric sciences at Cornell, one of the co-authors. Benjamin I. Cook of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Jason E. Smerdon of  Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory were the other authors for that study.

After 2050, there is “overwhelming evidence of a dry shift,” Ault said, “way drier than the megadroughts of the 1100s and 1200s.” The cause, Smerdon continued, “is twofold, reductions in rainfall and snowfall. Not just rainfall but soil moisture … and changes in evaporation that dry out the soil much more than normal.”

Leading to the theorized megadrought, California is likely to experience a series of micro droughts, researchers say.

[West’s historic drought stokes fears of water crisis]

A third study published three years ago had similar findings. The research is newly published, but its findings are not dramatically different from similar studies in the past. Beverly Law, a specialist in global change biology at Oregon State University’s College of Forestry, co-authored a study of megadroughts three years ago.
It showed that a drought that affected the American West from 2000 to 2004 compared to conditions seen during the medieval megadroughts. But the predicted megadrought this century would be far worse. Law said the NASA study confirmed her previous findings.

“We took the climate model . . . and compared” two periods, 2050 to 2099 and 1950 to 1999, she said. “What it showed is this big, red blotch over Southern California.”

Carro “símbolo” da falta de água no Cantareira foi roubado há 20 anos em SP (UOL)

Fabiana Maranhão

Do UOL, em São Paulo

03/03/201509h26 Atualizada 03/03/201515h11 

Seca em SP revela carros, construções antigas e lixo

19.fev.2015 – As chuvas que têm atingido São Paulo em fevereiro estão recuperando o nível do sistema Cantareira, que fornece água para 6,5 milhões de pessoas na Grande São Paulo. Na montagem, a imagem onde aparece menos água foi feita em dezembro de 2014. Já a foto que mostra a represa mais cheia é deste mês. Com a elevação, carros que surgiram com a seca e não foram retirados voltam a ser encobertos pelas águas Leia mais Estadão Conteúdo

A carcaça de um carro que se tornou uma espécie de símbolo da falta de água no Cantareira, sistema que abastece um terço da população da Grande São Paulo(6,5 milhões de pessoas), foi furtado há 20 anos.

Segundo a SSP (Secretaria de Segurança Pública), após averiguar o número do chassi, a polícia descobriu que o veículo foi furtado em 1995 na cidade de São Paulo.

O caso é investigado pela delegacia de Nazaré Paulista (a 64 km de São Paulo). A polícia ainda não identificou os suspeitos pelo crime.

A carcaça passou a chamar a atenção de quem passava pela região da represa Atibainha, que faz parte do sistema Cantareira, depois que foi grafitada em 2014 pelo artista Mundano. No carro, foi escrito “Bem-vindo ao deserto da Cantareira”, um protesto contra a crise de falta de água.

O veículo foi removido da represa em 25 de fevereiro. Um dia depois, o desenho do carro com a mesma mensagem foi grafitado na pilastra perto de onde a carcaça ficava e que servia de referência para as subidas e quedas do nível do reservatório.

De acordo com a SSP, 31 carros foram retirados do Atibainha desde o ano passado. Levantamento feito pela reportagem do UOL revela que, desde o meio do ano passado, ao menos 83 veículos foram tirados do fundo de reservatórios em São Paulo.

Os primeiros começaram a aparecer em meados de agosto de 2014, à medida que foram caindo os níveis de água das represas de São Paulo por causa da falta de chuva.

Evelson de Freitas/Agência Estado

Grafite em pilastra na represa Atibainha reproduz carro que virou símbolo da seca

Seco e colorido: Grafiteiros vão ao Cantareira em protesto artístico (Conta D’Água)

Em tempos de seca grafiteiros fazem arte-protesto no complexo cantareira e dão medidor de nível de água para a população

Por Henrique Santana, da Revista Vaidapé

2 de março de 2015

Submersos no maior colapso de abastecimento de água da história do Estado de São Paulo, grafiteiros resolveram dar um rolê pela represa de Atibainha, em Nazaré Paulista, para fazer o que sabem melhor: grafitar. A Vaidapé participou da ação do início ao fim e o registro vocês conferem nesta reportagem.

O time foi composto por grandes nomes do graffite da cidade: Thiago Mundano, encabeçador do projeto “Pimp My Carroça”, que estiliza o principal objeto de trabalho dos carroceiros paulistas; Mauro, do movimento Imargem; Enivo, um dos responsáveis pelo polêmico graffite nos Arcos do Jânio, criticado por fazer uma suposta exaltação ao líder venezuelano, Hugo Chavez; Subtu, famoso pelos desenhos de macacos brancos espalhados pela cidade; e Fel, exímio escalador de prédios, que estampa desenhos gigantes edifícios da cidade.

O APARELHO DE MEDIÇÃO

A trupe do spray foi ao Cantareira com o objetivo de fazer um graffite-medidor. As pinturas, realizadas em baixo da ponte da represa de Atibainha , serão usadas de parâmetro para acompanhar o nível da água. “Estamos aqui para ver, de fato, o nível da água do Cantareira, porque não dá para confiar muito no que a gente vê na TV, no que a Sabesb diz, no que dizem nossos governadores. Então a gente veio fazer uma arte para ser um nivelador, para a população que vem aqui também possa acompanhar a situação da água Não é porque cresceu um pouquinho que está bem. O nível está negativo e a gente vai acompanhar por essa arte, que é um jeito de trazer um novo olhar para essa crise hídrica”, explica Mundano.

Torneiras colocadas por Mundano em cactos da represa (Foto: André D’Elia)

Subtu, o famoso pintor de macacos brancos, criticou o desperdício de água e não deixou de lado seu carro chefe, estampando na ponte mais um de seus primatas. “Eu fiz o macaco assim, desperdiçando água, porque o macaco é o ser humano desprovido de inteligência. Então ele é meio burro e tal. É para fazer uma referência a essas pessoas que não se tocaram ainda que a gente está numa crise violenta de água, que continua lavando o carro, que não reutiliza a água. Então é meio que isso, ele tá na ‘gozolândia’, ele tá aqui na Cantareira despejando água da garrafinha”, provoca.

“A gente está aqui hoje, na Cantareira, fazendo o que a gente mais gosta de fazer, que é arte, que é pintar. E hoje tá servindo como um alerta, como uma crítica”, conta Enivo ao falar que a ideia é que os graffites sejam submerso — caso o nível da represa volte a subir.

O protesto artístico surgiu de uma camaradagem que aflorou nas ruas de São Paulo. Apesar dos grafiteiros atuarem em diferentes regiões da cidade, a afinidade entre seus projetos individuais e os roles pelo asfalto quente da terra da garoa fez com que seus caminhos se cruzassem. Enivo pontua que a ação “acaba sendo um encontro de amigos para pintar, mas agora com um porquê”.

ARTE DENTRO E FORA DE CASA

Além do graffite-medidor, a ida para a represa de Atibainha teve outros porquês. Tanto Mundano quanto Mauro irão, no dia 7 de março, inaugurar a exposição “Ver-A-Cidade Mudana”, na galeria A7MA, Vila Madalena, zona oeste de São Paulo. O nome da mostra faz referência ao trabalho dos dois artistas. A ideia é construir um diálogo entre a arte exposta dentro e fora das galerias. Enivo é um dos sócios da A7MA, que abriu espaço para que artistas independentes consigam vender obras para garantir sua subesistência.

“Para a gente, que é artista, grafiteiro, é um prazer e uma missão poder falar disso, seja nas ruas, seja aqui nesse marco, nesse lugar monumental, importante para a sociedade paulistana. E também poder mostrar isso em um ambiente fechado, relacionando toda essa nossa poética em obras móveis que as pessoas podem olhar, podem até levar para casa. Então, na galeria A7MA, a gente vai fazer está exposição e vai relacionar tudo isso: arte na rua e arte dentro dos espaços”, diz Mauro, que também é idealizador de outros projetos, como o Cartograffiti.

Grafites de Mauro e Mundano, lado a lado na represa de Atibainda (Foto: André D’Elia)

Os artistas também vão abordar temas relativos a crise de abastecimento, levando para a galeria o projeto dos cinco grafiteiros no Cantareira. A arte ganha moldes de protesto e navega de Nazaré Paulista ao centro. Do subúrbio seco aos bairros em que o racionamento não veio.

A arte vai ao sertão paulista e os arredores da terra rachada ganham vida. Enquanto isso, os moradores da ‘gozolândia’ central continuam sem ver a cor da falta d’água. Na periferia, por outro lado, a torneira que não pinga já virou rotineira.