Rolling blackouts have begun in Brazil as mega-drought arrives; residents told to prepare for the worst The American West is not the only region of the world experiencing historically severe drought. Parts of the largest nation in South America — Brazil — are currently suffering through their worst periods of drought in decades as well, and as drought conditions worsen, citizens are being told that things are likely to get worse. As reported by Britain’s Guardian newspaper, water taps have run dry and there have been rolling electrical outages across wide swaths of Brazil in recent days as the nation’s worst-ever drought continues to spread, from Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro and further. The paper also noted in its online editions: More than four million people have been affected by rationing and rolling power cuts as this tropical nation discovers it can no longer rely on once abundant water supplies in a period of rising temperatures and diminishing rainfall.  The fallout, both politically and economically, for the world’s seventh largest economy, is becoming more and more obvious. The conditions have sparked citizen protests in particularly dry neighborhoods, where many have taken to the streets. In addition, coffee crops have been adversely affected, while many businesses have had to close and pedal-boat operators have shuttered as lakes dry up. In Sao Paulo, the largest city in South America and the most drought-ravaged, a year’s worth of water shortages has cut water use in the city by one-quarter from the previous January. That said, Jerson Kelman, the head of the main water company, Sabesp, has told consumers that they need to do more to help the utility “prepare for the worst.” FULL STORY