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Brazil’s Water Supply: Medium and long-term solutions


Water is the most plentiful natural resource on the planet, covering about two-thirds of its surface. However, only about 2% of the world’s fresh water is available for consumption.

Brazil has the largest freshwater reserve in the world: its water reserves represents about 13% of the fresh water of the planet. Despite its rich water resources, Brazil faces a water supply crisis. Currently, Brazil suffers from a lack of water.

Particularly, São Paulo’s region is facing the worst drought in its history, with its reservoirs in values below the minimum limit. The causes for this crisis are various, some are natural, and others are related with planning and efficiency of the water supply network. Long dry periods (the last winter was the driest of the last 45 years), high temperatures, and losses in water supply system (around 33%) are the main reasons that generated this situation.

Medium and long-term solutions for this issue are diverse, some having already been applied in other regions with similar problems. These solutions can be technological or instructive nature, among them:

• Awareness campaigns to the citizenship for the sustainable use of this resource;

• Protection of water sources, avoiding contamination by sensitizing farmers;

• Monitoring the water supply network, aiming the losses reduction;

• Rainwater harvesting, by installing rainwater collectors;

• Increasing the efficiency of the water treatment plants, allowing the reuse of water.

In order to face this and other Brazilian issues, INESC P&D Brazil has a multidisciplinary team with interdisciplinary skills in different areas, able to design innovative solutions.

Sources: Folha de São Paulo, Observador On Time, website Planeta Sustentável.