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  • Availability: Does the country have plenty of drinking water or is it scarce?
  • Infrastructure: How widespread is access to safe drinking water and sanitation? What condition are pipes and sewers in?
  • Water usage: What is drinking water in this country used for? How much does every person use per day?
  • Projects: What projects regarding drinking water (supply or demand management) are planned, on-going or completed in this country?
  • Opportunities and threats: What are the biggest problems facing this country in the future? What is being done to solve them?
  • Norms and regulations: How is drinking water regulated? Are there efficiency standards for water-using appliances?
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Brazil

On the whole, Brazil has plenty of freshwater, yet regionally there are challenges to supply sufficient good-quality water for everyone to use.

The country is divided into three main river basins: the Amazonas, Tocantins and Sao Francisco.

Average annual rainfall is abundant at 1,782mm 1, as is annual groundwater recharge at 95 cubic kilometres 2. However, Brazil is divided into several climate zones, and some regions, such as the northeast, are considered arid.
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Does the country have plenty of drinking water or is it scarce?

Availability

Brazil's annual internal renewable freshwater resources per person are a whopping 27,512 cubic metres on average 1. In fact, most of the planet's freshwater is located here:

  • Brazil holds 12 per cent of the Earth's surface water 2
  • Brazil accounts for 18 per cent of the world's freshwater, more than a third of America's and 57 per cent of South America's freshwater 3

While Brazil's water supplies are immense, in aggregate there is a mismatch between availability and local population size. What does this mean? Nearly 75 per cent of Brazil's available water is located in the Amazonas basin, where only around five per cent of the population live 4. 35 per cent of the population live in the arid northeast, where only four per cent of the freshwater resources are located 5.

Moreover, a drought is threatening the water supply of 20 million people in the state of Sao Paolo 6.


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How widespread is access to safe drinking water and sanitation? What condition are pipes and sewers in?

Infrastructure

According to WHO data, 97 per cent of the population in Brazil had access to an improved water source, and 81 per cent to improved sanitation in 2011 1.

In 2011, the leakage rate in Brazil was estimated at 39 per cent. 32.6 cubic metres of water per day and per kilometre of pipe was lost 2.

Brazil's Agência Nacional de Águas (ANA; The National Water Agency) is the government body responsible for managing the country's water resources.
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What is drinking water in this country used for? How much does every person use per day?

Water usage

In 2011, Brazil's freshwater withdrawals were 58.1 billion cubic metres 1. This amounts to only 1 per cent of its available internal resources 2.

Daily domestic water consumption in 2011 was 116 litres per person on average, up from 110 litres in 2009 3.


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What projects regarding drinking water (supply or demand management) are planned, on-going or completed in this country?

Projects

ANA oversees a Program for Depollution of River Basins (PRODES) which provides investment for sewage treatment plants. The money is only paid out after the plants are in operation and certain targets have been met.
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    What are the biggest problems facing this country in the future? What is being done to solve them?

    Opportunities and Threats

    Localised very high demand (for example in large cities) can put a strain on available water resources. Pollution leads to deteriorating water quality and further limits availability. Thus despite Brazil's large freshwater resources, more efficient use by agriculture, industry and in households is necessary.

    Water quality issues

    Overall, only a small portion of sewage is treated, and waterborne diseases are widespread. The WHO estimates that more than 25,000 deaths per year in Brazil are due to diarrhoea 1. Other sources put the figure much higher: according to Brazil's Ministry of Health approximately 50,000 children per year die from diarrhoea, while 65 per cent of all hospital admissions are caused by inadequate basic sanitation measures and services 2.

    Similarly, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates in a 2004 report that around 70 per cent of all hospital admissions in Brazil are caused by waterborne diseases 3.

    Such claims are, however, disputed elsewhere. In a report 4, the Departamento de Informações em Saúde (Department for Information on Health) estimates the rate of hospital admissions in Brazil caused by waterborne diseases at 5 per cent.


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    10:31, 29 Aug 2014watersaving.comSwitzerland
    11:52, 01 Apr 2014watersaving.comSwitzerland
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