Sao Paulo State Says Sabesp to Tap Less Water From Cantareira

The government of Sao Paulo state said Cia de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo will cut the rate at which it withdraws water from its Cantareira system starting March 10 as levels reach record lows.

Sabesp, as the water utility is known, will lower the amount of water taken from its Cantareira system to 27.9 cubic meters per second from 30 cubic meters, Folha de Sao Paulo reported today, citing governor Geraldo Alckmin. The national water agency recommended the decrease, according to the newspaper.

A press official for the government confirmed the reduction when contacted by Bloomberg News. Sabesp declined to comment.

The Cantareira system is the biggest of six that supply almost half of the 20 million residents of metropolitan Sao Paulo. Sabesp, Brazil’s biggest water utility, on Feb. 3 offered customers who get their water from it a 30 percent discount in exchange for cutting usage amid low rainfall in the region. At the time, Cantareira was at a “critical level” of 21.9 percent of capacity, Sabesp said.

Reservoir levels at Cantareira have slipped to 16 percent, the water utility said today.

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