Foam floats on a polluted river in Sao Paulo, Brazil (photo: dpa)

Brazil battles pollution, floods and drought to provide fresh water

Water is one of the world's most vital resources. Brazil has plenty of it, but safeguarding its quality and delivery faces increasing challenges from the country's variable climate and contamination in built-up areas. New laws have encouraged conservation and water charges have been introduced, but there is still plenty of work to be done, writes Professor Monica Porto, a water expert from Sao Paolo University, Brazil.

FOOD production and sustaining the quality of life will largely depend on reliable water sources as the world’s population continues to grow.

The risk of shortages has increased because of expanding demand and reduced quality.

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Professor Monica Porto
In 2010 the National Secretariat of Civil Defence recorded cases of floods in 601 Brazilian municipalities. Of these, 563 towns - approximately 10 per cent of the country’s total - declared a state of emergency or public calamity
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