Fostering Water Resilience in Brazil: Turning Strategy into Action builds on the policy recommendations set out in the OECD reports Water Resources Governance in Brazil (2015) and Water Charges in Brazil (2017), and four multi-stakeholder, capacity-building workshops carried out over the period 2019-21 to learn from the state-of-the-art and international best practices.

The report is the last of a series of OECD Studies on Water carried out in Latin American countries, such as in Mexico (2013), Argentina (2019) and Peru (2021). The report focuses on improving multi-level governance and financing to enhance water resilience in Brazil and cope with pressing and emerging environmental, economic and social challenges.

Previous OECD reports show that Brazil made significant progress in managing water resources since the adoption of the National Water Law in 1997 and the creation of the National Water and Sanitation Agency (ANA) in 2000. Nevertheless, water security challenges persist and will be aggravated by megatrends such as climate change, population growth, and urbanisation, and indeed potentially exacerbated by longer-term economic, social and environmental consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, including constraints on public finances. In 2020, 1.1 million Brazilians were affected by floods and 15.8 million by droughts. Currently, 95.2 million people lack access to safe sanitation, and 2.3 million people use unsafe water sources for consumption and for personal and domestic hygiene.

In response to these challenges, Brazil has raised the profile of water security in its political agenda over the past decades, strengthening the link between water management and territorial development, and shaping an investment plan of BRL 27.6 billion to 2035. At the same time, the New Sanitation Law adopted in 2020 encourages transparency, allowing private investors to contribute to the goal of universal access to safe drinking water and sanitation. The action-oriented guidance provided in this report aims to support Brazil to: (1) move from a risk-based to a resilience approach that responds to megatrends such as climate change, demographic growth and urbanisation; (2) use economic instruments at basin level and strengthen multi-level governance; and (3) improve regulatory oversight and monitoring.

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