Brazil Drought: Citizens May Have to Cut Down Their 12 Showers a Week Because of Drought
With hot and sticky conditions, residents in Brazil often find themselves taking multiple showers per day. But, a historic drought is threatening to cause Brazilians to cut down their bathing time, the Associated Press reports.
Surveys show Brazilians take an average of 12 showers per week, the Atlantic reports. With the drought, people are worried they may be asked to take less showers, especially in South America's biggest city, Sao Paulo.
The consequences of shower restrictions could actually be more harsh than most would think.
"Showers are part of our roots as Brazilians. Not being able to shower in a country as hot as this, where hygiene is as culturally important as is it, well, it's enough to cause a revolt," said Renata Ashcar, co-author of the book "The Bath: Histories and Rituals."
The southeastern region of Brazil is seeing the worst drought in eight decades, which is causing reservoirs to be critically low on water. Residents in Sao Paulo have been forced to undergo water cuts for months, and Rio de Janiero could be next.
There have been some heavy rainfalls in February and early March that have allowed some of the reservoirs to recover, but the water supply is still critically low. The Cantareira reservoir that provides water for 9 million people in Sao Paulo is at less than 13 percent capacity this week.
Usually, Brazil enjoys the most freshwater in the world. This allows residents in the southeast to hose down their sidewalks and leave the water running while they brush their teeth.
Because of the drought, residents are being told to change their habits via public information campaigns. They are encouraged to conserve water by collecting their shower water to reuse it for cleaning toilets and ending water-wasting activities like car-washing.
Temperatures remained high during Rio's summer in the Southern Hemisphere. Highs reached 99 degrees in Rio. Humidity is usually high too, and that causes people to take multiple showers a day.
"It isn't viewed well if you don't take a shower in Brazil, if you don't smell good," said Sissi Freeman, marketing director at the Brazilian soap and cosmetics company Granado.
What do you think of Brazilian's shower habits? If it was hot and sticky where you lived, would you take multiple showers each day? Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think.
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