This topic will address the challenges for the effective universalization of access to adequate and quality sanitation services under conditions of equity. In other words, how to incorporate the portions with the worst socioeconomic situation and the people who live in more critical housing and infrastructure conditions, having as a reference the Sustainable Development Goal 6 and, in the Brazilian case, the goals of the new Sanitation Regulatory Framework.
In the lower-income population and worse housing conditions reside the greatest difficulties for the general access to services, as well as the less clear aspects of the plans and contracts for the provision of services. The lack of definitions of more firmly established commitments leaves this part of the population at risk of having their care postponed, due to the lack of defined and programmed solutions.
This theme will discuss solutions for the irregular occupation areas in cities, highlighting the close relationship between housing conditions and urban infrastructure and adequate services. Solutions for rural areas and isolated communities will also be discussed.
The issue of access to services for the most vulnerable portions will also be addressed, discussing policies of social tariffs and subsidized connections, in order to guarantee this right to all.
The Theme 1 will also address the important issue of monitoring results, highlighting the forms of measurement for non-regular situations.
The circular economy has increasingly become a reality in the sanitation sector, especially in processes related to sanitary sewage and solid waste. In the past, the sanitation services focused on quality of life and environmental benefits, but today the sustainability of the processes is also taken into account and the circular economy is a driver of this sustainability, transforming waste into resources, optimizing processes and seeking the use of renewable energy and reduction of operating costs.
We will discuss the technological advances focusing on this theme and the main practices used in various parts of the world. Practices such as the reuse of water in the fight against water scarcity, the processing and use of sludge from sewage treatment, reducing its final disposal in landfills and keeping it in the production chain, and the generation of clean energy from biogas or the hydraulic potential in large diameter pipes will be topics widely explored and debated in this thematic group.
We will also address the need for public policies to promote the advancement of the circular economy in sanitation, as well as business models and successful partnerships that aim to accelerate this systems solutions framework, which today is a demand of companies and especially the society, since the circular economy is an important development vector, which can support the expansion and optimization of systems towards universal sanitation services.
This topic will focus on the challenges for the implementation of the new Regulatory Framework for the Brazilian Sanitation Sector, supported by references from international experience. The law 14,026, of 2020, established universalization goals for the provision of sanitation services for 2033: water service of 99% and sewage collection and treatment of 90%. Regulation and planning play a key role in achieving these goals. The National Water and Basic Sanitation Agency (ANA) assumed the role of standardizing regulation at the national level. To this end, it approved an agenda for the development of Reference Norms to guide the work of subnational agencies, which effectively operate in their territories in regulating the provision of sanitation services: water, sewage, urban solid waste and drainage.
The BWW-2022's “Planning and Regulation” theme intends to contribute to the development of knowledge on aspects brought by the new legislation, particularly on the process of choosing service providers through bidding processes, placed as the only alternative for the provision of sanitation. The session on indemnification of assets and their reversion to the granting authority at the end of the contracts, particularly the so-called program contracts, used by state sanitation companies, will address the difficulties in the transition of current service providers that can be replaced and to which an amount equivalent to that invested during the contracts that has not yet been amortized must be paid. International experiences will be brought to the debate, which may assist in decision-making that should be made in a short time.
Another relevant aspect to be discussed will be the role of regulatory agencies that will have to assume fundamental tasks to guarantee the quality of service provision, in view of ANA's determinations consolidated in the Reference Norms. National and international experiences in agency governance will be highlighted in the sessions. The use of indicators for monitoring goals will also be addressed, looking critically at the set of indicators and reference standards adopted by ANA, which must be implemented by service providers in proving the quality of their services.
In Brazil, in a regulated environment and with the challenges brought by the new Regulatory Framework for the Sanitation Sector, the search for operational efficiency based on efficient management is among the priorities of companies that work with sanitation in its various aspects. In fact, the new regulatory framework emphasizes the importance of improving efficiency, including the edition of Ordinance 490/21, which defines regressive goals until 2034. Anyone who does not have the rates recommended in the ordinance will not have access to federal resources.
Thus, the search for the best management practices, supported by the newest technologies and first-line equipment, are essential, not only to reduce costs, but also to improve services to the population, the commerce and industry sectors, bringing positive effects to the environment and to the water resources.
In this scenario, companies, professionals and the academia build, every day, the necessary means to obtain results: the information, so necessary to assess the current situation and the results, are increasingly reliable, being used to formulate policies and planning; digital transformation is also a reality, improving the operational aspects of organizations and supporting the pursuit of efficiency; the development of communication networks allow the flow of information and leverage the use of artificial intelligence in the operation of systems.
We must also emphasize the importance of managing the operators' technical and commercial records. There is no technology for efficiency in systems where there is no security about the assets being operated.
Among the operational efficiency indicators, the loss ratio approach is fundamental. It is a reflection of the efficiency and quality of the supply systems, and that requires continuous investments in the renovation and/or the improvement of assets, so that the results are achieved gradually and in a sustained manner. In this way, it is possible to reduce waste, postponing investments and making considerable volumes of water available to contribute to the universalization goals defined by the regulatory framework.
The approach to energy efficiency will also be a priority in this topic. Among the operating expenses of supply systems, the energy cost of pumping for water transport is undoubtedly one of the most relevant. In order to obtain the greatest efficiency from electromechanical equipment, correct installation, efficient maintenance and operation according to the execution of the project are essential. Thus, many professionals and academic and business circles seek technologies and alternative sources for the generation and use of electricity that contribute not only to financial efficiency and sustainability, but also to the low tariffs.
- Information Management and Standardied procedures
- Energy efficiency
- Efficiency in management
- Digital Transformation (AI/LGPD/etc…)
Expanding international cooperation and capacity building requires going beyond fragmented approaches in research, but holistically strengthening the different social, political and economic structures of the sanitation sector. Access to knowledge and global partnerships design training and development approaches that go beyond training individual skills and must be translated into new products, services and processes as instruments of universalization. In this session we intend to evaluate different arrangements for the creation and global sharing of scientific knowledge and to learn about collaborative governance policies and strategies in the identification of opportunities and challenges in the implementation of future technologies. However, taking a systemic approach brings us two global questions that we want to answer during the sessions: what does it take to build scientific capacity? What capabilities need to be built?
The transformation of the world economy associated with Industry 4.0 leads to a significant change in the way water resources are used, which directly impacts the implementation of the concept of sustainable development in cities. Water service providers can transform themselves into smart systems managers for water supply, wastewater and sanitation, on-demand operations and maintenance, besides the expertise based on the customer and community experience.
This transformation leads to better pay for services, on-the-go education for skills development and, ultimately, digital and Industry 4.0 can enable the circular economy through the smart integration of private sector technology and service delivery, with public sector regulation and community or customer demands.
Knowledge, as intellectual capital of the organizations, with a focus on processes, brings a fluid relationship between data, information and knowledge and is part of of a synthesis process and accumulated learning based on open empirical observations, in a systematic and objective way. It is an investment in results and performance of the operations. This knowledge sustains a large part of the technological capacities that feed the economy. And the production of wealth depends of the intellectual capacities. Thus knowledge is an intangible asset necessary for social and economic progress.
- Future Tecnologies in water management: digital water and industry 4.0 - the opportunities and challenges in developing countries
- Institutional policies for collaborative water governance: the path to enable S&T for policy advise and decision making
- Education and training on water are not costs but investments
- Opportunities to expand international cooperation
Our planet is in transformation. The effects of climate change and the pandemic on the downturn in the economy and on society as a whole are notorious, affecting investments, growth and governance in many countries. In the world and in Brazil, the drops in revenue and GDP, the political and fiscal crises and the recessions resulting from this scenario are also associated with the aggravation of health and urban problems, accentuating situations of poverty, misery and hunger, especially in peripheries urban areas of large cities.
Despite the seriousness of the situation, these problems reinforced, on the other hand, the importance of human and environmental health, access to potable water, sewage collection and hygiene, social rights and, above all, the fundamental right to health for all. In Brazil, the universalization of the sanitation is one of the great challenges of the new legal framework, establishing expansion and quality goals until 2033 and conditioning the provision of services to the economic-financial and investment capacity of the companies, under penalty of the contracts being unfeasible.
It is in this sense that the economic-financial aspects play a leading role in the planning and expansion strategies of the sanitation infrastructure, in operational and service efficiency improvements, in technological and innovation development, especially in a scenario of strong budgetary limitations, fiscal imbalance and public accounts.
Faced with such a challenging situation, this new edition of Brasil Water Week aims to delve deeper into the topic of “financing”, discussing and presenting successful experiences in Brazil and abroad, solutions, models and paths for the feasibility – and expansion – of investments in the sector. Crucial issues such as financing, spending efficiency, resource and asset management, partnerships and private participation will be addressed by regional and international funding bodies, economic agents, companies and experts, inspiring and contributing to decision-making processes, to the planning and the implementation of public policies and, of course, with the achievement of the SDG6 and improved sanitation throughout the country.
Starting from the reflection on the Environment, Climate Change and Sustainability, this theme aims to understand the main impacts and risks associated with the environment, by climate change and, mainly, the challenges in complying with the provisions of the SDGs, with emphasis on Goals 6, 9 , 11, 12 and 13.
The impacts of climate change on water resources, with changes in the hydrological cycle, rainfall distribution patterns and extreme events, such as droughts, floods and storms, increase the challenges to ensure sustainable management of water resources and the adaptation of the society in regarding the changes.
In this context, vulnerability, means of mitigation and adaptation, as well as sustainability, are concepts addressed in their breadth in the areas of water resources, sanitation and health, correlating them with the effects on economic activities, infrastructure and ecosystem.
It will also address the challenges in companies with the ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) agenda and their relationship with responsible environmental and social practices and the importance of the communication in information and consolidation of the concept of sustainability, influencing positive attitudes towards the environment.
The approaches will be based on national and international experiences, which will bring technical and scientific data, as well as promote the dissemination of plans, programs and projects developed within the current scope of the proposed themes.