By DIANE JEANTET
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil, the country with the most freshwater resources in the world, has lost 15% of its surface water over the last three decades. The water’s gradual retreat in the Pantanal, the world’s largest tropical wetland, is even worse. It is just one-quarter of its earlier size. The survey published this month is heightening a sense of alarm from an ongoing drought, which has boosted energy costs and food prices, withered crops, prompted specialists to warn of possible electricity shortages and rendered vast swaths of forest more susceptible to wildfire. Declining water resources also risk exacerbating fires set during the Southern Hemisphere’s winter to clear pasture.