Brazilians Are Already Over 202 Million

Crowd in São Paulo, Brazil The most populous state, São Paulo, is home to 44.03 million people. The state with the lowest number of people, Roraima, has 496.9 thousand people.

Five other states have a population of over 10 million: Minas Gerais (20.73 million), Rio de Janeiro (16.46 million), Bahia (15.13 million), Rio Grande do Sul (11.21 million) and Paraná (11.08 million).

Aside from Roraima, only two states have less than 1 million inhabitants: Amapá (750.9 thousand) and Acre (790,1 thousand).

Water Wasted

Approximately 40% of all the water that has been treated and made ready for consumption in Brazil’s 100 largest cities are lost as a result of leaks, illegal connections, and other illicit operations. In some cities in the Amazon region, like Porto Velho and Macapá, the loss reaches over 70%.

The data were released as part of a study called Sanitation Ranking, conducted by Trata Brasil, an institute for the promotion of water treatment and sewage in the country.

According to the survey, of 100 municipalities listed, 11 report losses beyond 60% of the water treated. In the view of the institute’s president Édison Carlos, the waste makes a significant impact on sanitation companies’ investment potential and may hinder the expansion of the scope and the quality of the services they provide. “When the loss faced by a company is too great, it becomes unable to afford its own service,” he noted.

In spite of these figures, municipalities have done little to minimize the loss, the study points out. From 2011 to 2012, more than half of the cities surveyed (51) either did not reduce their waste in any degree or even saw their plight grow even worse. The institute believes this indicates that “decreasing the amount of lost water has not been a priority among Brazilian municipalities.”

The report further shows that a mere 10% of the municipalities analyzed have managed to cut down the volume of wasted water by more than 10%.  The average improvement was reported at no more than 0.05% compared to the 2011-2012 period.

On the plus side, the report also reveals that, in the 100 largest Brazilian municipalities, 92.2% of the population have access to treated water. Moreover, the coverage rises to 100% in 22 cities. The goal now is to invest in expanding the sewage networks, still precarious in most cities.

General Motors

Metal workers from automobile manufacturer General Motors (GM) in the city of São José dos Campos, São Paulo, have approved the layoff plan (temporary suspension of labor contract) presented by the company. The decision was made during a meeting with around 2,500 employees.

The measure reflects the current situation faced by the Brazilian automotive industry. Production floors are full and sales are on the wane at least 11 manufacturers, like GM, which have announced plans to reduce the output in the country.

According to the trade union, after the approval of the layoffs, GM may suspend the labor contracts of at least 930 employees for five months, from September 8 to February 7 2015, with a 5-month guarantee of employment for after the worker returns to the company from the suspension. They are also entitled to profit sharing and gains from the salary plan for 2014.

The suspension stipulates that workers stay home and are still paid. Part of the salary ($571) will be paid by the federal government, and the rest will be afforded by GM. However, it will be mandatory for the employees covered by the plan to take part in training programs.

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