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Lord M Vader

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Brazil's water crisis in Sao Paulo
« on: February 02, 2015, 10:38:04 PM »
About a year ago, Wili started the thread "CA Drought Emergency Declared" found here: http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,729.0.html

Right now, another water crisis is more imminent. In Saõ Paulo the Cantareira reservoar is virtually empty on water. Todays number for the volume there is 5,0% of the normal. In that number one have included the technical reserves. If not, the current volume value should be below 5,0%. The Cantareira system is supplying about 6,5 million people with water. The technical reserve which they are now utilizing is what one wouldn't "healthy water", more garbage water...

In April, the dry season starts so there is a small window to get some decent amount of rains. For the other basins the situation is not just as bad as in Cantareira, just almost. Alto Tieto have a volume of 11% for now, Alto Cotia and Rio Claro are both just below 30%, Guarapinga is at 48% while Rio Grande has a volume of 75%.

As the conditions seems to worsen for Brazil I think we should discuss the problem which I believe will have even stronger impacts than the drought in California...

You are finding daily volume values for the Cantareira system at: http://www2.sabesp.com.br/mananciais/DivulgacaoSiteSabesp.aspx

Sabesps main page is at: http://site.sabesp.com.br/site/Default.aspx

For those of who talks portugese you will have no problems to understand. For the rest of us we have to use google translate or a dictionary :P
« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 10:27:55 PM by Neven »

Neven

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Re: Brazilias water crisis in Sao Paulo
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2015, 10:49:14 PM »
Thanks for opening this separate thread, Lord M Vader. The situation in SP is interesting in a bad way.
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wili

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Re: Brazilias water crisis in Sao Paulo
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2015, 10:57:04 PM »
Thanks for the hat tip and for opening a thread on this very important and dire situation.

Sao Paulo is the largest city in the entire Western Hemisphere and it is rapidly running out of water. In many locations, they only have water two days out of the week. And what they get is of diminishing quality (to put it generously).

Here are threads (also started by yours truly but kept updated obsessively by vox_mundi) that have been tracking this unfolding catastrophe since late last year:

http://peakoil.com/forums/s-america-s-largest-city-on-verge-of-collapse-pt-2-t70883.html

http://peakoil.com/forums/s-america-s-largest-city-on-verge-of-collapse-t70392.html

There is also some discussion of the situation here: https://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/januarys-rainfall-forecast-cut-in-half-sao-paulos-reservoirs-are-drying-out-when-they-should-be-filling-up/
« Last Edit: February 02, 2015, 11:04:07 PM by wili »
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OldLeatherneck

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Re: Brazilias water crisis in Sao Paulo
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2015, 02:42:11 AM »
I too thank Lord M Vader this thread.  I was just coming back to this site to open a new thread on the same topic, with just a slightly different slant to approaching the discussion about the ongoing drought in Brazil.

There are multiple 'human factors' contributing to the current water crisis in Sao Paulo and surrounding states.  However, before getting in to those factors, we must keep in mind that Brazil depends on water for the majority of it's electrical production as well as for drinking, sanitation and industrial uses.

Apparently, this is the time of the year when an atmospheric 'river of water' should be flowing from the Amazon towards southern Brazil. How much is the impact of deforestation in the Amazon affecting changes on the regional microclimate??

Also, I read recent reports that as much a 37% of the water that flows through the pipelines, to Sao Paulo,  is lost due to leakage.  This is certainly a lack of properly maintaining and upgrading the infrastructure, which is becoming a serious political issue.

While the current drought is the worst since 1980, is this drought going to continue to worsen and not be just a  random event??

This drought has caused protests in some communities and as the situation worsens, it could lead to civil unrest and possibly lead to reduction in industrial production and a health crisis.  The drought has also caused agricultural  problems with reduced crops of soybeans, coffee and cane sugar.  The economic impact may be as devastating as the potential of a humanitarian crisis.

As a aside, my only visit to Brazil was in the early 70's when a young lady told me something to the following, "Brazil has no earthquakes, hurricanes or volcanoes...our only natural disasters are the people."

And their current science minister believes AGW is a hoax.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Brazilias water crisis in Sao Paulo
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2015, 04:26:06 PM »
Brazil plans renewable energy projects to help deal with drought and climate change.
Quote
Itaú Unibanco SA, Brazil's largest private-sector bank, borrowed a combined $400 million from the World Bank's International Finance Corp and a group of commercial lenders to help fund renewable energy projects in drought-stricken Brazil.

The transaction comes as Itaú steps up lending to projects that reduce costs related to energy generation and usage at factories, implement more efficient water treatment and stifle the emission of greenhouse gases, executives at both Itaú and the IFC said early on Tuesday.

The amount is the largest ever raised by a Latin American bank to fund efforts to cope with climate change in the region, said Ariane Di Iorio, head of financial institutions for Brazil at the IFC.
http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/01/27/itau-unibanco-loans-ifc-idINL1N0V601820150127
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ritter

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Re: Brazilias water crisis in Sao Paulo
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2015, 06:29:46 PM »
Brazil plans renewable energy projects to help deal with drought and climate change.

Yeah, we can turn on the lights, just not the taps!  :o

This is an awesome (in the true sense of the word) crisis that is unfolding. If Brazil does not get rain, Sao Paulo is in serious trouble. Drinking water aside, how do you live in that density and only be able to flush the toilets 2 days per week? I've asked the rhetorical question elsewhere: how does one go about relocating 10-20 million people to where there is water?


wili

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Re: Brazilias water crisis in Sao Paulo
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2015, 07:13:07 PM »
OLN, good point about the hit to energy production.

And yes, deforestation is the biggest proximate cause for the current predicament. But there has been a general attitude that--'hey, we live in a state dominated by rainforest; worrying about water conservation is just silly.'

Hence, the lack of concern for leaks, and for waste at lots of different levels. And yes, lots of corruption on just about every level, afaics.

By the way, water shortages are now problems throughout most of Brazil, to one extent or another. So internal migration won't be of much help if things really go south in SP, as they seem to be. Which brings us back to ritter's apt question.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

OldLeatherneck

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Re: Brazilias water crisis in Sao Paulo
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2015, 03:08:49 PM »
"The science is clear: Forest loss behind Brazil’s drought"

ForestNews by Louis Verchot http://blog.cifor.org/26559/the-science-is-clear-forest-loss-behind-brazils-drought#.VNIkqp3F-8C

This article describes the science behind how a tropical forest such as the Amazon creates the Atmospheric Rivers that provide rainfall for Southern Brazil and Northern Argentina.
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jai mitchell

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Re: Brazilias water crisis in Sao Paulo
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2015, 06:39:01 PM »
It seems that all is really well after all. . .

https://www.stratfor.com/analysis/sao-paulo-drought-could-benefit-brazil

Sao Paulo Drought Could Benefit Brazil

Quote
If usage continues and the reservoir is not replenished, projections indicate that it will run dry by September. . .

However this is, apparently a GOOD thing because. . .well, water is worth more now than before, so THE MARKET can unleash the POWER of its INVISIBLE HAND. . .

Quote
The Water Resources Group estimates that implementing these solutions — transferring water from other basins, using more groundwater, reducing pollution and improving efficiency — will cost at least $285 million a year.

While problematic, the drought and its ensuing water shortages have drawn attention to the larger structural problems of water management in Sao Paulo state. As is often the case with water-related issues, there was little impetus to implement necessary changes because there was no immediate consequence for doing nothing. Even when used inefficiently, water was available to the end user, creating little incentive to invest in improvements with little immediate return — an estimated 86 percent of the proposed solutions had a payback time of more than five years. Now, the drought may provide the necessary momentum to bring attention to the state's water problem and begin implementing a solution.

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solartim27

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Re: Brazilias water crisis in Sao Paulo
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2015, 06:03:06 PM »
FNORD

Lord M Vader

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Re: Brazilias water crisis in Sao Paulo
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2015, 08:35:10 PM »
February have started promising and the Cantareira system has so far got approximately 72% of the normal precipitation for February (1-12 of Feb). Cantareira system capacity have moved up to 6,7% after being at 5,0% as lowest. Of course, one has to consider that the technical reserve is included in this number.

The question remains: at what level will the Cantareira system be when we are entering April making the start of the dry season?

Sigmetnow

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Re: Brazilias water crisis in Sao Paulo
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2015, 03:09:34 AM »
A good review of the story so far.  People are shocked -- shocked! -- that all the warnings last year were not made available to the public, before the elections last fall.  And yet, still no action.
Quote
Citizens of Sao Paulo are to have their tap water cut off five days a week in a bid to manage the supply crisis.
...
“This whole year we shall depend fully on thermal electricity. The chance of a deep energy crisis this year is very high,” said Luiz Pinguelli Rosa, executive secretary of the Brazilian Forum of Climate Change and member of ABC. He recommended an energy-saving policy to avoid blackouts.
http://www.rtcc.org/2015/02/16/brazil-faces-water-rationing-amid-worst-drought-in-84-years/

I wonder what type of "energy-saving policy to avoid blackouts he has in mind?   ???
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Sigmetnow

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AbruptSLR

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Re: Brazilias water crisis in Sao Paulo
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2015, 08:35:04 PM »
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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Laurent

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Re: Brazilias water crisis in Sao Paulo
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2015, 11:38:09 AM »

Sigmetnow

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Re: Brazilias water crisis in Sao Paulo
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2015, 12:49:10 AM »
Deforestation in the Amazon has skyrocketed in the past half a year, according to analysis of satellite images issued by Brazil's non-profit research institute, IMAZON.
Quote
"The Amazon is nearly 20 per cent deforested, which may be close to a tipping point in terms of its ability to maintain itself and the climate system and rains that it helps to create," says Thomas Lovejoy, a pioneer in Amazon biodiversity studies, currently at George Mason University.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27056-amazon-deforestation-soars-after-a-decade-of-stability.html
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OldLeatherneck

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Re: Brazilias water crisis in Sao Paulo
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2015, 03:15:56 AM »
São Paulo – anatomy of a failing megacity: residents struggle as water taps run dry

Quote
" instances of dengue fever spread by mosquitoes almost tripled in January, compared with the previous year."

Link to guardian article: http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/feb/25/sao-paulo-brazil-failing-megacity-water-crisis-rationing

Sao Paulo may soon be facing the world's first climate-related Mega-Disaster.  Unless the government acts rapidly and effieciently, they will be facing a widespread outbreak civil disobedience with the potential of violence and numerous casualties.
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Zythryn

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Re: Brazilias water crisis in Sao Paulo
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2015, 03:08:23 PM »
While the climate is playing a role in this disaster, from what I have read, mismanagement and deforestation are bigger contributors.

In any event, very sad to see this unfold and the lack of management and attention to infrastructure is appalling.

JimD

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Re: Brazilias water crisis in Sao Paulo
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2015, 04:30:08 PM »
OLN

Nice to see you posting again.  Us old guys have to hang in there.
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OldLeatherneck

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Re: Brazilias water crisis in Sao Paulo
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2015, 06:32:00 PM »
While the climate is playing a role in this disaster, from what I have read, mismanagement and deforestation are bigger contributors.

In any event, very sad to see this unfold and the lack of management and attention to infrastructure is appalling.

Zythryn,

I agree that the severity of the current water shortage in Brazil could have been prevented with proper infrastructure development and maintenance.  The deforestation plays a dual role; first is the reduction of water vapor being released into the local atmosphere, the second being that deforestation is destroying a natural carbon sink which feeds into the global AGW problem.

OLN

Nice to see you posting again.  Us old guys have to hang in there.

JimD,

I agree that us "old guys" have to hang together. In theory, our advanced ages are supposed to have given us the wisdom to not only know what needs to be done but to be able guide the "youngsters" as they work to solve the problems.  Meanwhile societal collapse is already occurring in many parts of the globe well before they have to face the worst impacts of AGW/CC.

In the meantime we need to:

1.  Eliminate the burning of fossil fuels
2.  Reduce the world's population
3.  Develop an equitable global economic system to replace capitalism
4.  Develop stable quai-democratic systems of government

and the list goes on.....
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Brazilias water crisis in Sao Paulo
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2015, 06:42:06 PM »
Sat-pics compare Sao Paulo reservoirs from 2014 versus 2015.
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/sao-paulo-reservoirs-drought-18753

The water supply in Sao Paulo is being cut off for days at a time.  So people are digging wells, inside their buildings.  Wildcatters digging without safeguards risk contaminating the aquifer.
http://www.npr.org/2015/03/10/392014833/sao-paulo-s-drought-pits-legitimate-prospectors-against-wildcatters
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Brazilias water crisis in Sao Paulo
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2015, 08:28:42 PM »
Artists become activists, educating the public about the drought.

Quote
Another organiser of the desert meeting was André D’Elia, a film-maker who spent 16 months producing The Water Law (New Forest Code); a documentary that explores the consequences of a controversial 2012 legislation regulating deforestation of the Amazon.

D’Elia believes many journalists “failed to understand” the final law after President Dilma Rousseff vetoed several articles. “The code allows deforestation, which leaves water unprotected,” he said, “but the media bought the idea that Dilma is saving the environment.”

A crowdfunding project has been launched to finance screenings around the country, and the film will be available via iTunes. “Our campaign slogan is ‘Water doesn’t come from pipes – it comes from forests and rivers,’” said D’Elia. “Building more pipes and reservoirs won’t take care of the problem. You need to protect the source.”
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/09/sao-paulo-brazil-water-crisis-art-activism-movement
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Brazilias water crisis in Sao Paulo
« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2015, 05:14:34 PM »
Fights over water, and spreading dengue fever, mark sudden changes in São Paulo residents' life.
Quote
The sudden nature of the crisis has left people struggling to cope with the reality of the taps running dry. The state governor Geraldo Alckmin has insisted repeatedly that the water will continue to flow as usual, and no state of emergency has yet been declared, though some experts believe such a declaration well overdue. In the meantime, residents of São Paulo are making their own arrangements: storing water at home, and in some cases drilling homemade wells. In part a result of badly stored water, instances of dengue fever spread by mosquitoes almost tripled in January, compared with the previous year.
...
On the third day without water, residents set out rows of plastic chairs in the communal area and held an emergency meeting to discuss the problem. But to Berger’s dismay, the meeting quickly descended into furious argument:“I’d always imagined people would try and help each other out in a crisis situation,” she says. “But it’s not what happened at all.”
http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/feb/25/sao-paulo-brazil-failing-megacity-water-crisis-rationing
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wili

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Re: Brazilias water crisis in Sao Paulo
« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2015, 07:37:51 PM »
http://oglobo.globo.com/brasil/crise-hidrica-56-cidades-nordestinas-estao-em-situacao-de-colapso-diz-governo-15753830

Water crisis: 56 Northeastern cities are in collapse situation, says government
In Rio and Sao Paulo, below average rains continue and reservoirs have not recovered


   
Quote
BRASILIA - In another meeting of the government to assess the water crisis affecting parts of the country, the diagnosis is that in the Northeast, there are now 56 cities in state of collapse, that is, without water for more than four days. According to the government, there is an ongoing water tanker operation being managed by state and local governments. In the Southeast, despite the rains of March, the water system was lower than expected and the reservoirs of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo have not recovered.

    In relation to the Northeast, the Union called for a study and said it will take further measures with the Army. It is estimated that up to 105 Northeast cities may be in collapse situation. The Minister of National Integration, Gilberto Occhi said that the next meeting of the working group that monitors the water crisis within the government, will be assessed the situation of a project of 500 wells and water supply systems in progress in the Northeast.

    According to the government, there are studies that indicate that drought may last a cycle of three to four years. The Environment Minister, Izabella Teixeira, said her team is preparing a plan for adaptation to climate change.

    The Cantareira system, in São Paulo, has not even recovered the dead volume, and continues to operate with this water reserve...
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Sigmetnow

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Re: Brazilias water crisis in Sao Paulo
« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2015, 08:59:24 PM »
The water crisis inspires Brazil to consider using dwindling hydro-electric reservoirs as a source of solar power.
Quote
It means that plans to introduce solar energy into the energy mix are at last being considered as Brazil seeks alternatives to hydroelectric dam, on which it relies for up to 80% of its energy.

The contribution of wind power, produced by onshore wind farms in the Northeast and South, has begun to grow.

But solar energy, dubbed “a fantasy” by President Dilma Rousseff just a few years ago, has been ignored. Only 400 homes in Brazil have photovoltaic (PV) panels installed on their roofs, because the cost is so prohibitive.

However, Braga has announced plans to turn dozens of hydroelectric dams in the southeast and centre west—which run the risk of becoming white elephants as the waters diminish—into solar energy farms.

Thousands of solar panels attached to buoys would be floated on the surface of the dwindling reservoirs to provide an alternative source of power.

Ministry officials have calculated they could add up to 15,000 megawatts (MW) of power, which is higher than the maximum capacity of two of Brazil´s latest Amazon megadams—Jirau, on the Madeira river, and the controversial Belo Monte, on the Xingu.

The solar panels would have the added advantage of reducing water evaporation while at the same time being cooled by the water, boosting their conversion efficiency.
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/water_crisis_pushes_brazil_towards_solar_power_at_last_20150406
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Brazilias water crisis in Sao Paulo
« Reply #25 on: April 07, 2015, 09:34:53 PM »
National Geographic describes the "atmospheric block" -- similar to California's "Ridiculously Resilient Ridge" -- responsible for Brazil's recent drought and floods.
Quote
The loop starts in the Atlantic Ocean, where the winds carry moisture westward over the Amazon. Some falls as rain, but as the air passes, it also absorbs moisture from trees. When these "flying rivers" hit the Andes, they swing south, showering rain over crops and cities in eastern Bolivia and southeastern Brazil.

Beginning a year ago, however, a phenomenon called "atmospheric blocking" transformed that wind pattern. Marengo, a senior scientist at the Brazilian National Center for Early Warning and Monitoring of Natural Disasters (CEMADEN), likens this to a giant bubble that deflected the moisture-laden air, which instead dumped about twice the usual amount of rain over the state of Acre, in western Brazil, and the Bolivian Amazon, where Cartagena lives.

At the same time, cold fronts from the south, which cause precipitation over São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, were shunted aside, and as the system lingered, the drought took hold, Marengo said in an interview.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/02/150226-drought-floods-south-america-brazil-bolivia-flying-rivers-environment/
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Brazil's water crisis in Sao Paulo
« Reply #26 on: April 23, 2015, 12:46:49 AM »
Per the linked article the current drought in Sao Paulo is contributing to an explosion of mosquito associated dengue fever (as desperate residents are stock-piling open water containers):

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-22/after-record-drought-dengue-fever-is-now-sweeping-across-sao-paulo
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