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Brazil, in the face of the danger of water shortages

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Brazil has 12% of freshwater in the world and, even so, today it is in crisis mainly in the southeast region, where the largest population concentration is.

To the classic problems of waste, pollution, irregular distribution and losses due to deficiencies in the maintenance of the distribution system, we must now add the greatest drought in the last 85 years in the country, something that is very serious because, except for rare exceptions, its population has always lived without limitations in the use of water and without the risks normally presented by most of the equatorial countries.

The government of Sao Paulo constantly alerts about the lack of water. In the next few years, the water system could also collapse in other regions of Brazil, and a solution to the problem has not yet been glimpsed.

The Cantareira system, the main source of water in the metropolitan region of Sao Paulo, which caters to nearly nine million people, has gone through heavy periods of drought and due to the absence of rainfall, its volume today reaches only 12 percent of its total capacity.

The failures in the water supply were for a long time a big problem in the favelas of the big cities of Brazil, but a problem that is related to the infrastructure and the administration of that resource, since most of these areas have More fresh water than you need. To achieve a balance between the rainy season and the drought, in Sao Paulo was built 40 years ago the Cantareira system. According to Mauro Arce, Secretary of Sanitation and water resources of that state and spokesman of the National Water Agency of Brazil (ANA), the current water panorama is worrisome: “Our records go back to the inauguration of the dam, and from them it is derived that This is the worst situation in all these years. ”

Brazil has the world’s seventh largest economy, but is listed on site 84 in access to safe water and sanitation at the Yale Environmental Performance Index, which includes 178 countries, behind nations such as Turkmenistan, Moldova, Albania, Syria, and Chile.

2017 was the year in which the investments returned to Brazil. Foreign direct investment (FDI) to Brazil experienced a boom in the period 2009-2011, but it had slowed down ever since. According to recent CNUCYD estimates, FDI flows reached 60 billion in 2017, an increase over the previous year (58 billion). In 2017, 9 of the 10 most important acquisitions by foreign companies in Latin America

occurred in Brazil. The country is currently the fourth investor between the emerging countries and the first in Latin America.

The attractiveness of this country for international investors is due to several factors:

-A market of about 210 million inhabitants;

-Easy access to raw materials;

-A diversified economy;

-A strategic position that facilitates access to other South American countries.

However, investment in Brazil currently implies certain risks due to negative factors such as cumbersome and complex taxation, slow bureaucracy and labour legislation (heavy and rigid). Brazil is ranked 125 (from 190 countries) in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2018 classification. The main investors in Brazil are the United States, Spain and the Netherlands. The sectors that attract the greatest amount of foreign investment are finance, the beverages industry, oil, gas and telecommunications. In 2017, Michel Dread announced different infrastructure concessions, which have helped stimulate investment.

Virginia Sodré, director of business development in Brazil of the transnational company “ACCIONA Agua”, says that “one of the main problems of Brazilian infrastructure is the correct management of water resources. In the not so distant future, entire populations, in various cities of the country, will depend on projects of desalination of seawater and reuse of residual water to have potable water “.

In this sense, the “ACCIONA Water” Company has managed two important seawater desalination projects. One is the so-called DIVINOPOLIS water system whose contract covers the operation and maintenance of the system over the next 26 years.

ACCIONA Water − in a consortium with local companies GEL Engenharia and FB participations − will design, build and start up two wastewater treatment stations, 16 pumping stations for the system and the construction of a pipeline of sewage network of the city. The project is of type PPP (Private public Association) on equal terms with Copasa, the joint venture responsible for water supply and sanitation management in the state.

The second project is WWTP ALCÁNTARA, located in São Gonçalo, a population of about 250,000 inhabitants. This plan consists of the construction of a complete

sanitation system, including a wastewater treatment plant, with a flow rate of 1.2 m3/second and a pumping station with a capacity of 1.99 m3/second, a sewer system, a Drainage, a pumping station in Yamagata with a flow rate of 1,560 liters/second, 8 low-flow pumping stations and household connections. the Ministry of Environment of the state of Rio de Janeiro is responsible for the follow-up of the project.

These issues, and others of great relevance in the solutions for the supply of potable water, will be widely treated by international experts in the area during the conference and Exhibition “Desalination in Latin America” which will take place in Santiago de Chile on March 6th and 7th, 2019.









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