Water crisis: Specialist warns of serious scenario and possible blackout | Rio de Janeiro


Electricity in Brazil is totally dependent on waterreproduction

Published 08/30/2021 20:39

Rio – The lack of rain in August aggravated the water crisis, generated a scenario of instability and made the possibility of a blackout imminent, since electricity generation in Brazil is totally dependent on water. In Rio, the State Institute for the Environment (Inea) says that the water supply in the state’s municipalities is significantly provided by surface springs. Thus, according to the institute, “there is no risk of public shortages in the coming months, due to the lack of water in the reservoirs”. However, there are already reports of lack of water in cities in the Metropolitan Region. According to Amanda Ohara, a consultant at the Instituto Clima e Sociedade, the absence of effective measures by the Federal Government directly impacts the exhaustion of the system.

“There is a lack of water and all activities that need water to happen need to have this alert turned on. This ends up compromising the urban water supply, so at some point we may have selective cuts in some regions. used to generate energy in Brazil, it is already operating, and we are still in August and the drought period runs until November. We have still managed to balance the supply with the demand for energy, but by November, we will probably go have a more serious scenario, which is the blackout, a forced economy,” said Amanda.

For the specialist, it is past the moment of taking measures to try to contain the crisis, even if it does not please everyone: “We are already at historically critical levels, some reservoirs are already at the minimum they have already reached at this time of year. critical level has already been reached and surpassed, however, this action of instituting rationing is quite unpopular. We understand the difficulty of the Federal Government in taking an action of this type in a year before the election year, but this rationing should already be happening “.

Last week, President Jair Bolsonaro warned of the critical level and asked the population to collaborate. Amanda Ohara, however, points out that the request is illusory. “The government had to make more efficient equipment viable, and it is very late, in addition to helping people to reduce consumption, through structured policies and programs. This story of ‘turn out a light in your house’ and think that it’s an effective action, it’s an illusion. It won’t happen that way, there needs to be a clear policy indicating the benefits and penalties,” he guaranteed.

As for water rationing, the consultant asked for transparency: “The government has not yet presented how it will be, but it spoke of a bonus program for the population, a voluntary and non-mandatory reduction. If you reduce it, you get a bonus that, in fact, only will increase the bill to be paid by the consumer. Nowhere in the world have we had an action of this type giving good results in consumption”.

“It is necessary to have a clear reduction program, which protects the poorest, low-income population. And those who already consume very little, who have nowhere to reduce, be protected. It is necessary to place the goals in accordance with their capacity to each consumer. What has been done is not pointing in that direction and it is a mistake that will end up weighing on the poorest,” he concluded.

Water crisis reflects on taps and on the population’s pockets

The lack of rain in August was reflected in the faucets and in the pockets of those who live in cities in the Metropolitan Region of Rio. The reservoirs that supply the state are below capacity and the situation is worrying. According to the National Electric Energy Agency, the forecast is that reservoirs in the southeast region will continue at critical levels next month. With the rates at worrying levels, the forecast is that there will be less water to consume and generate electricity.

For housewife Fátima Cristina, turning on the fan at home is just to refresh the environment. “We hear specialists saying that without water, energy increases. Every month they talk about a red flag. Here it is now, fan turned on for 30 minutes and then turned off. We are also saving on washing dishes and clothes. Everything has to be done. limited,” said the resident of Itaboraí.

Anyone who goes through the problem needs to save money to buy. “You need to put it on the scale to plan expenses. Here, for example, only the refrigerator is plugged in when we’re not at home. Today, it’s not just the water crisis issue, everything it weighs in your pocket. With these absurd increases, if you don’t save, you don’t even have money for monthly purchases,” complains hairdresser Mara Pacheco, also a resident of Itaboraí.

In June, the extra charge for energy was R$ 6.24 for every 100 kilowatt-hours consumed. In July, it rose to R$ 9.49 cents. Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said that due to the water crisis, the electricity bill should increase in September. The extra fee must be between R$15 and R$20 for each 100 kilowatt-hours.