Online Conference Proceedings

< Return to abstract list

BULK WATER PRICING IN BRAZIL: ADVANCEMENTS, RESISTANCE, CONTROVERSIES AND AMBIGUITIES

IWRA World Water Congress 2003 Madrid Spain
IWRA WWC2003 - default topic
Author(s): Monica SCATASTA
Rosa Maria FORMIGA-JOHNSSON

Monica SCATASTA and Rosa Maria FORMIGA-JOHNSSON


Article:

Abstract

INTRODUCTION

The implementation of bulk water pricing in Brazil is especially complex, due to the peculiar legal status of water resources, which are defined as a publicly owned good, whose ownership resides partly with the Federation and partly with the states. This implies the existence of separate Federal and state water pricing systems. Existing water laws call for the adoption of water pricing as a management tool but differ in their emphasis on charges as a way to encourage efficient water use by signaling its economic value, or as a revenue-raising instrument. As is typical of Brazil's water management reforms, the dynamics of chargesᅵ conception and implementation vary greatly across states and basins. Still, almost everywhere a gap exists between the political will demonstrated by the promulgation of water laws and the resolve needed to implement charges. This paper discusses the dynamics of two pioneering experiences ᅵone involving state and one Federal watersᅵ in the context of the overhaul of Brazil's water management practices. Its main goal is to identify the facilitating conditions for the introduction of charges, as well as the sources of resistance and persisting ambiguities. The main focus is on a basin that contains both Federal and state waters, i.e. a ᅵnationalᅵ basin. This note discusses the identification of the users who will pay; the arrangements for revenue collection and allocation; and which level of fiscal solidarity should exist across and within river basins. The paper concludes that, while progress in the implementation of charges appears small compared with the considerable advancements in other components of the new management framework, for the regions where charges were introduced, their adoption represents a giant step towards effective water resources management.

IWRA Proceedings office@iwra.org - https://www.iwra.org/member/index.php