The present study sought to develop a methodology to analyse water quality based on the concepts and methods of climate and climatology. Accordingly, we attempted to relate hydro- and limnometeorological techniques and methodologies to a rhythmic analysis technique developed within the context of the Brazilian geographical climatology. Our goal was to assess and analyse cyanobacterial blooms, the main index of water quality for the reservoirs of the “Alto Tietê” Basin and, consequently, the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo, an area of high environmental complexity due to its high degree of development and high population density. The meteorological data used were collected by the Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of São Paulo meteorological station, and the limnological data were collected through the Hydrological Monitoring System implemented by SABESP in the Billings and Guarapiranga Reservoirs and the laboratory of the same entity. The rhythmic and integrated analysis showed that the process of cyanobacterial blooms is dependent on a combination of meteorological factors as temperature and wind intensity that may disrupt the stability of the reservoir, providing the conditions necessary for the development of cyanobacteria during the stabilisation process. The pace of the Atlantic Polar Front Entrance during the winter in São Paulo is a limiting factor for the growth of cyanobacteria because of their high frequency, thus maintaining the balance of the reservoir throughout this period. The weather types those could cause a instability in the water column were: Cold Front entrance (66.67%), conflict between masses (22.22%) and the Tropical Instability Line (11.11%). The possibility for prevention and forecasting periods advise when these reservoirs should not be used, mainly with regard to recreational activities.
geographical climatology; rhythmic analysis; stratification; mixing; cyanobacteria