Project will help manage water risks exacerbated by climate change
WASHINGTON, May 9, 2023 — The World Bank Board of Directors approved today a US$86.1 million project with the Government of the State of Espírito Santo in Brazil to strengthen the state’s water security management in a changing climate environment and reduce risks in selected areas. The project also contains a rapid response mechanism in case of an eligible hydrological crisis.
Historical records and available projections for Espírito Santo reveal that climate change is playing a pivotal role in the increased frequency and intensity of water-related disasters such as floods, droughts, landslides, and water deficits. Unplanned and unregulated urban spread, as well as change in land use, increase these vulnerabilities. The Espírito Santo Water Security Management Project will help the state mitigate and oversee these risks, leading to a more sustainable water management framework.
The Project will help state institutions to improve the integration and application of water resources and disaster management policy instruments, allowing for increased quality and availability of information for decision making. This includes the modernization and operationalization of the state’s water resources information system (Sistema Estadual de Informações sobre Recursos Hídricos – SEIRH) and related hydrological and hydrogeological monitoring networks, as well as capacity building efforts, the sourcing of better equipment, and the implementation of early warning systems.
The Project also aims to reduce water security risks by expanding the support to the Reflorestar Program in selected river basins, and by improving flood and drought management in priority river basins and municipalities, combining green infrastructure (that harnesses natural systems) and grey (traditional infrastructure), with an emphasis on nature-based solutions (NBS). While this project is expected to benefit the entire population of Espírito Santo, women represent a larger share among beneficiaries at all levels, being a focus in the trainings and in the Reflorestar Program. The Project also includes a contingent emergency response component (CERC), which will allow for an immediate response to an eligible crisis or emergency associated with hydrological events.
“The World Bank has a long partnership with the Espírito Santo state in the water sector. We are pleased to support the State’s efforts to address water security risks, and to build capacity for a more integrated, proactive and innovative approach, based on risk management and nature-based solutions,” said Johannes Zutt, World Bank Country Director for Brazil.
“Climate change impacts the well-being of the Espírito Santo population, our economy and environment principally through increased water security risks. Addressing these risks and creating a framework that will allow us to navigate this scenario in a sustainable manner is key. The support of institutions like the World Bank, with their expertise in sustainable water management, is vital in this effort,” stated José Renato Casagrande, Governor of the State of Espírito Santo.
The US$86.1 million operation, financed by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a final maturity of 25 years, including a 5-year grace period.