A plan to control the country’s water resources until the year 2020 is expected to be approved in January. "The importance of the water plan is that it will be an integral part of sustainable development projects for all of Brazil," says João Bosco Serra, the head of Water Resources at the Ministry of Environment.
Serra says that under the plan Brazil will be achieving one of the UN Millennium Goals (MG) just one month late (the MG was to have a national water plan by the end of 2005).
The plan encompasses short-, medium- and long-term targets involving the reutilization of water, use of rain water and environmental awareness in the population through educational programs.
Brazil has 12% of the world’s fresh water. However, 70% of that fresh water is in the Amazon region where only 5% of Brazil’s population lives.
As a result of the unequal population/water distribution there are parts of the country that have already faced water shortages, such as the semi-arid Northeast region where the problem is historical and the metropolitan regions of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro where the problem is more recent.