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 State of Rio de Janeiro

The State of Rio de Janeiro is one of Brazil’s pioneers in the creation of a water charge system and its experience is important to understanding water charges implementation. From an institutional point of view, all the conditions are in place for water charges to achieve the expected goals (e.g. technical capacity, information and monitoring system); however the state’s economic (financial crisis) and environmental (drought) health are currently barriers to implementation. As a result, there are some questions concerning the future of water charges in the state as a management instrument to enhance water resilience in a very industrialised and urbanised state.

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