WASHINGTON, MARCH 28, 2014 – More than 1.8 million people living in the metropolitan region of Vitória, capital of the State of Espírito Santo, in southeastern Brazil, will benefit from a US$225 million loan approved today by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors. The Espírito Santo Integrated Sustainable Water Management Project will focus on improving the management of water resources, increasing the population’s access to sanitation and reinforcing the State’s capacity to cope with natural disasters.
In Brazil, more than 82 percent of the population lives in urban areas. Rapid demographic growth and urbanization have been a challenge for the establishment of sustainable and equitable water and sanitation services. Only 46 percent of Brazilian have access to sewage collection and approximately 62 percent of the sewage is discharged untreated into the environment
“This partnership with the World Bank will help us to better manage our water resources and to increase access to sanitation expanding our capacity to collect and treat our sewage. Our work plan also contemplates the increase of forest coverage, besides equipping Espirito Santo with a better capacity to manage extreme natural disasters, like the rains that hit the State in December 2013”, says the Governor of Espirito Santo Renato Casagrande.
Water availability and quality suffer from threats upstream from the Vitória urban area. Watershed degradation has led to high levels of erosion, and insufficient sewerage collection and treatment have resulted in water contamination. While the State Water and Sanitation Company (CESAN) has increased sewerage coverage in Vitória from 20 to 60 percent between 2004 and 2012, inadequate wastewater collection and treatment in the municipalities in the Jucu and Santa Maria da Vitória watersheds continue to generate pollution that compromises downstream water resources and coastal areas.
“Providing sustainable and efficient water and sanitation services is a crucial step towards ending poverty and sharing prosperity,” says World Bank Director for Brazil, Deborah L. Wetzel. “Managing water resources is a critical priority for the State of Espírito Santo, for its economy and, most importantly, for its citizens. The project will also help to manage recurrent floods in the State. The World Bank is pleased to be a partner in promoting such important changes.”
The Project will support improved drinking and coastal water quality in the State’s capital and the river basins of the broader metropolitan area. Sewerage investments will ensure adequate wastewater collection and treatment in Vila Velha and Cariacica, in the metropolitan region, as well as in nine other municipalities.
Among the outcomes supported by the Project are:
Adoption of a State Water Resources Management Plan and River Basin Management Plans;
Improving the State’s hydrological and water quality monitoring;
Implementing an environmental management information system; and
Improving wastewater collection and treatment in selected urban areas, including a household sewerage connection program.
This US$225 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) to the State of Espírito Santo is guaranteed by the Federative Republic of Brazil and has a 24.5 years total repayment term, with a 0.5 year grace period.