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NGOs raise red flag on water crisis in Rio

Volunteers at Greenpeace and Meu Rio NGO launch campaign to raise

Published in 25/01/2016 - 09:45

By Alana Gandra reports from Agência Brasil Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro - Voluntários das ONGs Greenpeace e Meu Rio lançam, na Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, a campanha Rio Maravilha sem Água (Tânia Rêgo/Agência Brasil)

Rio de Janeiro - Volunteers at Greenpeace and Meu Rio NGO launched a campaign to raise the population's awareness of Rio state's water issues.Tânia Rêgo/Agência Brasil

Volunteers at Greenpeace and Meu Rio NGO launched a campaign Sunday (Jan. 24) called “Rio Maravilha sem Água” (which would translate as “Wonderful, Waterless Rio”), designed to raise local residents' awareness of the water crisis in the state. According to Greenpeace Coordinator Fabiana Alves, the purpose of the campaign is to call for more open disclosure of information regarding water availability and resources.

She said the campaign aims to remind the population that taps are not a primary source of water. “There's a whole water cycle and a load of environmental concerns behind it. People need to become aware so they can use water wisely,” he said.

According to Greenpeace, Rio is experiencing a water crisis similar to what is happening in the state of São Paulo, but hardly a word is said about that. The state's largest reservoir, the Paraibuna, was below 20% of its accessible storage level for more than a year, reaching its dead storage in January 2015. Moreover, the sources in Paraíba do Sul river basin have been destroyed, and only about 13% of the original forest is left, the NGO warned.

Meu Rio Coordinator Rafael Rezende says a water crisis is impending. “And even if it has rained for ten days, it doesn't mean the situation has improved.” He said the state's water policy is obscure, and the local administrations have no plans they could roll out in the event of a water shortage. “The campaign aims to make people realize that despite all its lakes, beaches and waterfalls, Rio state has real water supply issues that could worsen in 2016.”

According to sociologist Renato Cinco, this is a complex issue that needs to be thought on a global scale. “It's worrying that the population has paid little attention to this issue until now. And most of the government's action has been limited to trying to persuade people to take small water efficiency steps. We must wake up to rethink the civilization model we have created and how it's reaching its limits on many levels, including water,” he said.

Translated by Mayra Borges

Fonte: NGOs raise red flag on water crisis in Rio
Edition: Fernando Fraga / Augusto Queiroz

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