Case Study Source: The Joint U.S.-Brazil Initiative on Urban Sustainability, part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Summary

Since 1995, the Baixada de Jacarepaguá area was the fastest growing region of Rio de Janeiro in terms of population and new construction, but the lack of available potable water seriously threatened the quality of life in the region. Without a "declaration of the availability of potable water" (DPA), a license certifying that new buildings had legal and sufficient access to water, the demand for additional construction in the region could not be met and construction could not be sustainable. To overcome the lack of resources and of operational capacity to take on the challenge in a timely manner in the public sector, the Barra da Tijuca Community Association Câmara Comunitária da Barra da Tijuca (CCBT) reached out to the State Company of Water and Wastewater (Companhia Estadual de Águas e Esgotos-CEDAE), and to interested construction and commercial companies in the area, to leverage private financing for new water pipelines in exchange for water for future development project completion. Through this innovative strategy, CCBT helped ensure that CEDAE and local business interests were able to ensure safe, legal, and sustainable water provision for the growing Baixada de Jacarepaguá population.

Application

To raise the funds needed to undertake the water pipeline project, CCBT reached out to private businesses interested in the area, which needed a DPA to expand construction and business. The Community Association also obtained the rights to execute the project from CEDAE, and with the private funding ran a bid process, hired a contractor to construct the system pipeline, oversaw and monitored the construction process, and obtained technical approval throughout from CEDAE. At the conclusion of building, CCBT donated the finished pipeline to the public company, CEDAE, which had committed to providing water. To undertake this plan, CCBT and CEDAE signed an agreement on August 4, 1998, in the amount of R$ 3.3 million, which covered the cost of construction. The private lenders were paid back via credited volumes of potable water in proportion to the investments made by each participating company. Over the course of the construction project, CCBT was able to make some return on its investment through bank interest payments, which allowed for future programming in the region.

Environmental, Social and Economic Benefits

This project ensured a sustainable source of water for an expanding region that allowed for the creation of jobs and new economic activity.

Contact Information

David Zee
Câmara Comunitária da Barra da Tijuca
Phone: +55 (21) 9917-8147
Email: davidzee@terra.com.br
Website: http://www.ccbt.org.br/ccbt.htm