Water management in large urban agglomerations is becoming an increasing challenge in many parts of the planet. Growing demand and the low quality of the water surrounding large cities, push companies to bring water from farther regions, increasing transportation costs and exacerbating harm done to the environment. Climate change adds another issue to water companies by increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events, like floods and droughts. In this scenario, from time to time governments from around the globe must deal with an extreme weather event which forces them to not only adapt the water and sanitation systems, but also to deal with second order effects of those events, like health issues and financial sustainability of the operations. This research aims to evaluate the broader effects of a drought in a large urban agglomeration. We use the most severe drought that felt upon the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo (MRSP) in recent history, to investigate consumers' reactions to an informational campaign aiming to curb demand and to evaluate the health effects of the actions taken to overcome the severe scarcity. In a first analysis we intend to use a detailed dataset on aggregate census tract water consumption to evaluate if consumers adjust their consumption according to the information they receive about the water availability in the reservoir that supplies them. The second analysis uses administrative data to investigate if using lower quality raw water to supply some regions of the MRSP affects health outcomes of local population. Both analyses are expected to generate valuable information to public decision makers. While the first one might suggest how better to manage the demand side on a drought event, the second shed light on some side effects of the actions taken to overcome water scarcity.
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