Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Brazilians are obtaining water every year that's not generating any monthly invoice through an estimated 2.5 million water wells, of which about 90 percent are illegal.
If the wells were regularized -- with payments channeled through the country regulators and with invoices issued from public companies -- the total bill would represent about $16 billion annually, G1 reported Thursday.
However, the wells are also subject of pollution and health or environmental hazards, according to a study of underground waters of the University of Sao Paulo obtained by G1.
The report says authorities have registered only 12 percent. The other 88 percent of wells are located on rural properties, industries, homes and terrain across Brazil.
Numerous hidden wells have shown to be deadly traps in Spain.
Spanish lands hide an estimated one million boreholes drilled, for the most part, illegally in attempts to tap into subsoil water, which have caused two deaths in recent days.