Building Water & Sanitation Infrastructure in Brazil

Brazil has had some great times with the World Cup and Olympics, but now it might be time to cut back on unnecessary projects. Some uncompleted water and sanitation projects have been in development for over a decade. Perhaps, the Temer administration will transfer more work to private firms as seen in its National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) concession.


Needed Water Policy Change


Isn’t Brazil one of the most water-rich countries in the world? They call it the Amazon rain forest for a reason. Surely, the nation can divert some of that water to the cities in need. And, Brazil’s government promised to do something similar back in 2005 under Lula.


The Brazil water reservoir building plan set in place more than a decade ago was to reroute the São Francisco “through 400 kilometers of canals into dry river basins in Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Pernambuco, and Paraíba.” Why has it taken so long? Well, its Brazil.


Even during the Olympics, athletes were complaining of poor water quality. Scarce rain has exacerbated the problem in much of the nation, leading to rationing in Brasilia. So, the politicians should be well aware of the water shortages.


Droughts Take Years to Recover


The Brazilian drought is over in some areas, but not in the Northeast. Reservoir levels are dangerously low. One of the key problems is determining – “Who should receive the scarce resource.”


That is why the BNDES concession is so important, explains infrastructure project expert Felipe Montoro Jens. Water scarcity has impacted sanitation and the public sector has no real answer.


Felipe Montoro Jens suggested that private firms were more efficient and could deliver faster results. Hopefully, the private water management firms can complete the water reservoir projects, promised more than a decade ago.

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