World Bank has approved $126.8m loan to the Paraiba Improving Water Resources Management and Services Provision project to improve the security, promote the efficiency and expand water services in the State of Paraiba, Northeast of Brazil.
The new project in Paraiba is expected to benefit around 4 million people currently living in the region.
The State of Paraiba is located in the Northeast region of Brazil and has 87% of its total area, covering approximately 56,469.47km², comprised of semi-arid drylands with poor soil and low and irregular precipitation. This region in the state has 76% of its municipalities and 57% of its population.
In addition, the region suffered a severe drought for the past seven years, with many municipalities registering merely 90 days per year of water availability.
Paraíba State Governor João Azevedo said: “Water security is a high priority for our region. The project will allow us to expand and modernize water infrastructure and develop and implement institutional models to improve the efficiency of water resources management, as well as water and sewage services.
“This is key for development, especially for the Agreste and Carimataú regions which will receive quality water from the Transparaíba Adductor System, benefiting 27 municipalities that historically suffer severe droughts. It will also promote actions to increase the efficiency of water and wastewater services in the Metropolitan Region of our capital João Pessoa.”
By increasing infrastructure upstream in the Paraíba river basin, the project is expected to help in the reduction of water losses and the reduction of water pollution downstream in João Pessoa.
The investments would include sectorization and pressure control of the water network and the expansion and modernization of the wastewater system in João Pessoa, including energy efficiency.
World Bank Brazil director Martin Raiser said: “The expansion and modernization of services are essential to increase not only the quality of life of the population but also Paraíba’s development. The project will tackle water security in three dimensions: management efficiency, infrastructure availability and services improvement.
“That will promote a more productive use of scarce water resources, increase the water supply in the driest region and guarantee water availability regardless of climate conditions during 90% of the year, or 328 days, and make the water supply and sanitation systems of the João Pessoa Metropolitan region more efficient”.
The World Bank said that the loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) to the State of Paraiba is guaranteed by the Federative Republic of Brazil and has a final maturity of 20 years, with a 7.5 years grace period.