S√£o Paulo is in trouble this week as it looks likely to be dangerously close to running out of water to supply its residents.
It’s the 12th biggest city in the world and a place smart growth advocate’s like to tout from time to time of our intensive cities can work.
Except it has a big problem.
The city of Sao Paulo is home to 20 million Brazilians, making it the 12th largest mega-city on a planet dominated by shortsighted humans. Shockingly, it has only 60 days of water supply remaining. The city “has about two months of guaranteed water supply remaining as it taps into the second of three emergency reserves,” reports Reuters. 
Technical reserves have already been released, and as the city enters the heavy water use holiday season, its 20 million residents are riding on a fast-track collision course with severe water rationing and devastating disruptions.
But this isn’t a story about Sao Paulo; it’s a report that dares to point out that human societies are incredibly shortsighted and nearly incapable of sustainably populating planet Earth. In numerous regions around the world — including California, India, Oklahoma, Brazil, China and many more — human populations are rapidly out-growing the capacity of their local water systems. Even though keeping populations alive requires food… and growing food requires water… almost no nation or government in the world seems to be able to limit water consumption of local populations to levels which are sustainable in the long term.