Water Charges in Brazil

The Ways Forward

image of Water Charges in Brazil

This report examines the current system of water abstraction and pollution charges in operation in Brazil. It assesses the current system’s implementation challenges and provides possible solutions. The report explores how water charges can be both an effective means for dealing with water security issues, and a tool for enhancing economic growth and social welfare. Specific analysis is put forward for three case studies in the State of Rio de Janiero, the Paraiba do Sul River Basin and the Piancó-Piranhas-Açu River Basin. The report highlights that water charges need to operate in conjunction with an effective water regulatory regime and concludes with an Action Plan based on practical steps and recommendations for its implementation in the short, medium and long-term.


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The Paraíba do Sul River basin

The Paraíba do Sul River basin represents an interesting case-study on the implementation of water charges in Brazil for two primary reasons: i) it was the first interstate basin in the country to implement water charges, helping to improve the legal and institutional framework for the water charges system and serving as example for other basins; ii) it presents socio-economic characteristics that deserve special attention when implementing water charges aiming at changing users’ behaviour towards greater water security, e.g. highly urbanised and industrialised area subject to conflicts over multiple-uses.

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