The challenges in relation to water resource management in Brazil cannot be addressed separately due to the cause and effect relations among them, such as: increasing water supply and access to water vs. insufficient investment in basic sanitation.
Brazilian authorities are expecting UNESCO to provide assistance and technical support in implementing recommendations approved in forums, where UNESCO has been leading international mobilization, particularly, the World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP).
UNESCO’s official responsibilities in these areas lend a distinctive profile to the sector. In this light, since 1975, UNESCO has been promoting studies within the ambit of the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) and has an important technical/scientific background in water management.
It is important to remember that water is a UNESCO priority and that all support should be given to water-related initiatives, as UNESCO Brasilia Office has been doing, cooperating with Brazilian authorities in this area for several years, and all support will be given to projects.
Safe drinking water must be guaranteed for all and this resource must be wisely managed for sustainable development, according to the discussions taken place during Rio+20 Conference (2012).
Expanding safe drinking water and sanitation services would drastically cut the loss of life from water-related illnesses and free up scarce resources in developing countries. Upgrading water supply and sanitation services can also improve education, allowing more children or even adults to attend school instead of spending hours each day collecting water. It would also save millions of workdays.
To address this issue will require strengthening education, training, capacity-building, and awareness-raising efforts on the sustainable management of freshwater resources. It will also require enhancing the knowledge base necessary for informed decision-making processes in relation to water management and consumption, and developing sustainability policies that address global risks, including those associated with water, in an integrated and coordinated manner.