ATLAS Brasil (Urban water supply ATLAS of Brazil) is a final report that consolidates studies carried out by Brazil’s National Water Agency – ANA since 2005. These studies had the aim of analyzing the state of water supply for all the 5,565 municipalities of the country as well as proposing technical alternatives to guarantee water supply by the year 2025.
The National Water Agency – ANA
Urban water supply, water supply planning, water resources management instrument.
ATLAS Brasil (Urban water supply ATLAS of Brazil) is a final report that consolidates studies carried out by Brazil’s National Water Agency – ANA since 2005. These studies had the aim of analyzing the state of water supply for all the 5,565 municipalities of the country as well as proposing technical alternatives to guarantee water supply by the year 2025. ATLAS Brasil is part of a wider planning scenario, which provides detailed information of a comprehensive portfolio of projects and works and a tool for guiding long-term actions and the identification of emergency interventions. In addition to serving as a valuable decision-making tool, aiming to guarantee the water supply for the urban population of Brazil, ATLAS Brasil is a contribution the water resources integration management and to the water multiple use compatibility as well as to the rationalization of investment in the water and sanitation sector. The overall results of the supply/demand assessment indicate that 45% of the Brazilian municipalities have satisfactory water supply, which means that 52 million inhabitants will have the water supply guaranteed until the year 2015. In this context, the planning reported in ATLAS Brasil suggests a set of works for exploiting new water sources and the upgrading of current water systems, amounting to total investments of R$ 22.2 billion. This will benefit 3,059 municipalities (55% of the total), which means a population of about 139 million by 2025 (72% of the estimated Brazilian urban population). The results for each municipality are available on www.ana.gov.br/atlas.
The results of this initiative cover all the 5,565 brazilian municipalities, with a focus on urban areas. As all the regions of the country are included in the study, a great variety of climatic conditions is covered.
The main players in this initiative are those located at the federal, state and municipal levels. The undertaking of ATLAS Brasil entailed the interaction of all these players, starting from the data-collection stage, to the identification and consolidation of technical alternatives. Meetings held with federal, state and municipal representatives from the water resources and sanitation sectors involved more than 1,180 managers and technical staff. This insured that planning authorities converge in the three state levels; also insuring integration between water resources management authorities and urban water supply companies. All these players will participate, later on, in the development of projects, allocation of resources, contracting of services, etc. Publication of the planning actions on the Internet allows citizens benefited by these actions to accompany and inspect the execution of the work at local level.
The main purpose of this solution is to guarantee water supply for all Brazilian towns.This is a priority action to meet the population’s needs,and it’s strategic to promote development.To face this challenge,one needs knowledge of the country’s diverse geo-climatic and socioeconomic conditions, the distribution of population,and the rapid process of urbanization.One important result has been the water transfers between river basins to provide water supply for large cities or to fulfill needs of regions where water is scarce.The Guandu (45 m³/s) and Cantareira Systems (33 m³/s) which provide water supply for 20 million people in Rio de Janeiro and SãoPaulo States are examples of such water transfer systems.Together these systems have the capacity to supply 20% of the total Brazilian urban demand.For regions that suffer with droughts,one may point out the SãoFrancisco river water diversion and its impact on domestic water supply and other forms of water use in Northeast Region of Brazil
It is an innovative solution as: 1. it presents for the first time a diagnosis and a plan for supplying with water all the municipalities of Brazil; 2. it provides input for formulating public policies, plans and programs related to the strengthening of water resources and sanitation management and planning, based on the available information; 3. it employs a participatory process to consolidate the diagnosis presented and the proposed solutions; 4. it enables access to a portfolio of technical alternatives as well as the results achieved by the Atlas, through a specific site on the Internet; 5. it creates a computerized tool to update information contained in the studies, enabling management of the actions along the time; and 6. it provides a technical leveling of the states and municipalities, contributing to a regional and local perspective s of the water resource s demand and availability.
The ATLAS’s content must be kept permanently updated, so that it will be adopted and consolidated as a decision-making and a planning tool. All the performed assessments and analysis have to be constantly reviewed and improved regarding their progress and the new challenges. Updating and monitoring of the ATLAS is regarded as a continuity of the studies presented. The only way to ensure the quality of this process is through the strengthening of institutional partnerships (at the federal, state and municipal levels) is. This strategy also reinforces the importance of the Information System (SIG Atlas) developed to support all the activities. The set of the developed projects, of the carried out works, and the directed investments to the water and sanitation sector are some of the main indicators of this initiative.
Following the model of the previous form, titled “Implementation Potential” with a limit of 5000 characters, we will present the information of this topic along with the topic below.
Brazil is a country with a large territory, presenting regions with different combinations of demography, climate, hydrology, economy, social and institutional conditions. Such factors reflect on the great variety of uses and demands for water. The propositions in ATLAS compose a set of engineering works for exploiting new water sources and upgrading water production systems, which will require an investment of R$ 22.2 billion, and will benefit 3,059 municipalities (55% of the total) with a population of about 139 million inhabitants by the year 2025 (72% of the estimated Brazilian urban population for that year). A major portion of these investments (R$ 16.5 billion, or 74% of the total) is earmarked for 2,076 municipalities located in the Southeastern and Northeastern regions of Brazil. This is due to the large number of municipalities in the Northeast and in the Southeast, and, also, the location of the semi-arid region in the Northeast. Institutional aspects are of key importance for the success of technical proposals which aim to guarantee the public water supply. This because there is a need for close cooperation among public officials (at the federal, state and municipal levels) and the water resources and sanitation sectors’s personnel. At the federal level, it is of key relevance is the establishment of a Steering Committee comprised of representatives of the Ministries of Planning, of Cities, of National Integration, and of Health (FUNASA), at which ANA will exercise the role of Technical Secretariat, invested with the following powers and competencies: • Harmonizing and integrating planning initiatives prescribed in ATLAS with other studies focused on urban water supply and protection of water sources; • Consolidating the profile of credit operations to be implemented and federal financial mechanisms for implementation of foreseen engineering works and management actions (R$ 22.2 billion); • Setting up of a task force to enable monitoring of the execution of projects, especially for smaller municipalities, with a view to overcoming the main obstacles to investment, i.e., lack of consistent projects (R$ 720 million, of which 55% is earmarked for towns with less than 50,000 inhabitants); • Supporting implementation of operational models and institutional mechanisms that enable gains of scale and which ensure continuity of operation for interventions carried out. In order for the ATLAS to become consolidated as a decision-making tool, mechanisms to ensure constant updating need to be established. To this end, it is necessary to strengthen institutional partnerships, at the federal, state and municipal levels, with a view to ensuring the quality of this process. Also of key importance for this strategy is the Information System (SIG Atlas) developed to provide support to all activities. It is worth noting that three studies were carried out prior to launching of the ATLAS BRASIL, namely: the Northeast Atlas, the South Atlas, and the Atlas of Metropolitan Regions. Reference to these studies is important, as they cover different regions of Brazil, each with specific problems and characteristics in terms of water availability. The Northeast Atlas encompassed an area of the country (976,743,3 km2) in which, overall, potential water availability amounts to specific flows of a mere 2 l/s/km2. The South Atlas examined the extreme south of Brazil, which has a temperate climate, well-defined seasons, and vast areas of farmland where great volumes of water are used for irrigation. It is a region in which water-use conflicts are beginning to occur. Lastly, the study on Metropolitan Regions, which covers state capitals and cities with more than 250,000 inhabitants, presented the problem of water quality and complex solutions involving the search for water sources at a considerable distance from the consumer centers. This broad array of studies and of outcomes illustrates how the methodology employed is applicable in a great variety of conditions and regions.
In general, the institutions most committed to adopt the ATLAS Brasil solution are those related to the sectors of government responsible for water and sanitation, and the public or private local-level institutions in charge of the implementation and the operation of Water and Sanitation Services. In Brazil, the key institutions involved in the implementation of the ATLAS propositions are: local water utilities, the Ministry of Cities, the Ministry of National Integration, the National Health Foundation (FUNASA) and the National Water Agency. To this end, the ATLAS proposes the creation of an Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee, with the technical support from ANA, articulating with the states and municipalities, for the purpose of ensuring the execution of projects and works necessary to provide and guarantee water supply for all Brazilian urban areas.