The water crisis in Brazil: an opportunity for environmental education and new lifestyles of Brazilian cities

Topics: Sustainable lifestyles and education
Keywords: sustainable lifestyles, environmental education, water shortage.

Antônio José Juliani

University of Brasilia – UNB, Brazil;

The increased demand for water resulting from the rapid growth of the human population, inadequate waste and the overuse can deplete or degrade this resource. Such problems are already occurring in certain areas or regions, and it is believed that in the medium term, maintaining the current forms of water use can cover the entire planet, creating a global water crisis.

This work is related to the water crisis which is occurring in the state of São Paulo, in southeastern Brazil. It is the most populous state in the country with about 45 million people experiencing a very dry season with low rainfall and reduced supply of water without precedent in local history. One of the symbols of this crisis is the drastic reduction in the Cantareira System, which is a reservoir that provides water to 26.7 million customers or 60% of the population of the São Paulo state.

Although Brazil has a National Water Resources Policy, the measures taken in this area were not sufficient to prevent the crisis. This indicates the need to review this policy and to take a fresh look at the water issue that goes beyond government. In this sense, environmental education for the use of water resources is presented as an instrument for the pursuit of more sustainable behaviors of the population in relation to this resource.

The aim of this work is the proposal of a national awareness plan for the population in general, policy makers, and academia and for non-governmental organizations to feel responsible for the preservation of water resources and have consciousness as their acts can alter these resources. The idea is to make people aware of the gravity of this problem in Brazil, changing the way they use this resource and acquiring new and more sustainable lifestyles.

Graduated in Chemical Production Engineering from the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar) (1985), Specialization in International Relations from the University of Brasilia (UNB) (2004), Master in Environmental Policy and Management at UNB (2009), PhD in Development sustainable by UNB (2015). It is currently Foreign Trade Analyst, Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade (MDIC). Work with groups that are involved with trade and environmental issues, particularly those relating to the competitiveness of Brazilian products in global markets.