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PRESS RELEASE February 28, 2019

Brazil: Paraíba to increase security of its integrated water system

The Northeastern state has been affected by seven years of severe drought and many municipalities currently only have 90 days of water availability per year

WASHINGTON, February 28th, 2019 – The US$ 126.886 million Paraiba Improving Water Resources Management and Services Provision project was approved today by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors. A more integrated water system will improve the security and promote the efficiency and expansion of water services in the State of Paraiba, Northeast of Brazil, benefiting around 4 million people that currently live in the region.  

“Water security is a high priority for our region. The project will allow us to expand and modernize water infrastructure and develop and implement institutional models to improve the efficiency of water resources management, as well as water and sewage services. This is key for development, especially for the Agreste and Carimataú regions which will receive quality water from the Transparaíba Adductor System, benefiting 27 municipalities that historically suffer severe droughts”, says João Azevedo, governor of the State of Paraíba. “It will also promote actions to increase the efficiency of water and wastewater services in the Metropolitan Region of our capital João Pessoa.”

Located in the Northeast region of Brazil, the State of Paraiba has 87% of its total area (56,469.47 km²) made up of semi-arid drylands with poor soil and low and irregular precipitation. This territory hosts 76 percent of its municipalities and 57 percent of its population. In addition, the region suffered a severe drought for the past seven years, with many municipalities registering merely 90 days per year of water availability.

“The expansion and modernization of services are essential to increase not only the quality of life of the population but also Paraíba’s development”, explained Martin Raiser, World Bank director for Brazil. “The project will tackle water security in three dimensions: management efficiency, infrastructure availability and services improvement. That will promote a more productive use of scarce water resources, increase the water supply in the driest region and guarantee water availability regardless of climate conditions during 90% of the year, or 328 days, and make the water supply and sanitation systems of the João Pessoa Metropolitan region more efficient”.

While increasing infrastructure upstream in the Paraíba river basin, the project will support the reduction of water losses and the reduction of water pollution downstream in João Pessoa, as investments will include sectorization and pressure control of the water network and the expansion and modernization of the wastewater system in João Pessoa, including energy efficiency.

Among the outcomes supported by the program are:

  • Higher number of hydro-meteorological stations operational and feeding into the water information system;
  • Greater coverage of reliable water services in the Agreste and Borborema regions;
  • Reduction of non-revenue water (NRW) in the João Pessoa Metropolitan Region;
  • Reduction of volume of pollution load (BOD) discharge in water bodies in the Joao Pessoa Metropolitan Region.

This loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) to the State of Paraiba is guaranteed by the Federative Republic of Brazil and has a final maturity of 20 years, with a 7,5 years grace period.

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Candyce Rocha
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Elisa Diniz
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