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Water waste in Brazil alarming

Experts highlight the importance of preserving the country's hydro

Published in 08/07/2015 - 16:39

By Pedro Peduzzi reports from Agência Brasil Brasília

In addition to letting 5 thousand swimming pools' worth of sewage into its rivers every day, Brazil is estimated to waste nearly 6 billion m³—six times the capacity of the Cantareira reservoir, which serves the metropolitan area of São Paulo, South America's largest city.

reserva técnica do Sistema Cantareira

Cantareira reservoir, São PauloDivulgação/Sabesp

The analogies were drawn by the president of Trata Brasil Institute, Édison Carlos, during a public hearing at the Senate's Infrastructure Commission on Wednesday (Jul 8). The institute, classified under Brazilian law as a Civil Organization of Public Interest (Oscip in the original Portuguese), made up by companies interested in improving the country's basic sanitation and protecting its water resources.

“Brazil's sanitation scenario's not in line with its status as the world's seventh economy,” the expert told senators. Édison Carlos added that the amount of water wasted every year is equivalent to $2.5 billion. If these financial and natural losses were avoided, he remarked, sanitation fees could be lowered.

São Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin attended the hearing, and said that, wastage and water crisis notwithstanding, “sanitation companies have turned into tax collecting entities.” According to him, in the metropolis, which is currently challenged by a severe supply crisis, prevention campaigns have yielded good results. In his view, they are responsible for cutting down water losses by 83% at consumer units.

To encourage the efficient use of water, the state government has offered bonuses to thrifty consumers and charged higher fees to those who have failed to bring consumption down, the governor said.

Translated by Fabrício Ferreira

Fonte: Water waste in Brazil alarming
Edition: Marcos Chagas / Augusto Queiroz

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