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Protecting the Current and Future Water Supply for Rio de Janiero

Introduction

“While the world’s population tripled in the 20th century, the use of renewable water resources has grown six-fold”[1]. It is estimated that the population will grow by another 45% in the next half a century. This combined with urbanization and industrialization makes it more important to protect water sources to ensure demand does not exceed supply. Increased demand for water today has resulted in adverse damages to the environment and has put the lives of future generations at risk.

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Background of the study

“Rio de Janeiro, simply known as Rio, is the second-largest city in Brazil” [2]. Its economy also ranks second after Sao Paulo. The state has a population of more than 15 million people. It is also the second-largest economy in Brazil. It is highly industrialized and experiences high traffic of visitors. The result is a high demand for water and other natural resources. Recent estimates reveal that future generations may not have enough drinking water. It is estimated that the current water supply can only last up to 2025. Considering this, the need for urgent measures is inevitable.

Problem statement

In the current rate of use, as well as the consensus reached by the governing officials in Rio de Janeiro, there will be enough potable water until 2025. The estimates were made last year and sparked debate over the future of the region. With such estimates, there must be an effort to increase the resource of water past the estimated time for future generations. “According to Paulo Canedo, a water expert at the Federal University of Rio de Janiero, the general problem across Brazil is scant attention paid to urban sanitation and water treatment”1. The country has gone for decades without seeing any major investments in their water systems. The World Health Organization estimates that 30 million people in Brazil come in contact contaminated water each year. The number of deaths arising from water related diseases is also on the rise. Like many other regions across the world, Rio de Janiero is threatened with a continued degradation of suitable water use.

The project will be aimed at addressing mitigation, cleaning, and protecting the current and future water supply for Rio de Janiero. This proposal’s hypothesis is; unless something is done in Rio de Janiero, there will only be enough potable water until 2025.

Objectives

The objectives of this research project will be to:

  • Study the role of pollution in the problem
  • Establish the relationship between population and water security
  • Research on the role of different stakeholders in dealing with the problem
  • Identify possible solutions to the problem

Significance of study

The significance of this study will be to:

  • Improve awareness of the public on threats that face future generations if the problem is not addressed.
  • Come up with solid and long-term solutions to the problem of a possible water shortage in future
  • Improve public understanding of the role of different stakeholders in achieving the set objectives in the water ministry

Literature review

In his article, Hinrichsen addresses the role of pollution in water security problems. According to the author, the issues can be interpreted in many ways and can be beneficial or destructive depending on the way it is handled. He argues that the impact of the population is many at times felt in the consumption of natural resources such as water. An increased population means more demand for water, meaning more exploration of current water sources and other natural resources, which affect water availability. A higher population also means an increased demand for food which means more demand for cultivation land. This could lead to the destruction of forests and other natural habitats to create more room for agriculture.

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Payne addresses the issue of pollution. The author argues that if the current trend continues, the world may run out of clean drinking water in the next few decades. From his argument and research, it is evident that water pollution is a major concern even though there is legislation put in place in many countries. Most countries’ laws require that industrial wastewater be treated to given standards before being drained into the government water treatment system. Unfortunately, many businesses do not pay attention and release dirty water to the sea, rivers, and other water bodies expected to provide clean drinking water for human beings and animals.

Rondinelli Michael helps the reader understand the importance of conservation, not just for water but for other environmental concerns. The author explains how individual measures can be used to minimize damage caused to the environment. For example, educating people about carbon emissions enables them understand how simple environmental measures can benefit them and even earn them money.

The authors argue that by measuring and being aware of our carbon emissions, we are not only able to minimize it but also able to educate the people around us about the same. Being cautious of carbon emissions includes being able to ask ourselves questions any time there is an environmental concern over any decision. Simple examples include evaluating whether it is really important to have a fridge on the whole night and how we affect the environment by leaving a computer on when we are not using it. The authors point out that it is such simple measures which will protect our environment and our water bodies.

Glenn explains water treatment processes and the role it plays in preserving water. According to him, recycling is the best solution to water shortage. The author explains primary, secondary and tertiary water treatment processes. He also takes the reader through different physical, chemical and biological treatment methods and how they can be used to preserve water. Sewage treatment still remains a significant challenge for many countries and yet if resolved effectively, it can help a country recycle 100% of their dirty water and utilize it for different reasons.

The Central Intelligence Agency provides statistics on Brazil and its different states such as Rio. The statistics provide population distributions, economic developments and industrialization in the states. Punch on the other hand takes the reader through research techniques, including how to collect and sample data. The author explains different sampling techniques and how to analyze data.

Issues in water conservation

Level of pollution

Rio de Janiero is currently ranked amongst the worst in environmental issues in Brazil. In 1999, it was ranked among the worst in terms of gas emissions and in 2002, it was among the worst states in Brazil in terms of environmental releases2. Its water, land and air experience high levels of pollution from the over twenty chemical producing companies in the area. Top three polluters include DSM Chemicals N.A inc., PCS nitrogen fertilizers L.P. and International paper. Other heavy polluters in the region include Solvay advanced polymers and several other bricks companies.

However, the state experiences high levels of air pollution than any other form of pollution. Gases with biggest percentages released to the environment include nitrate compounds, ammonia and methanol from the companies mentioned above. The air will sometimes appear as smoggy or filled with soot which in real sense is as a result of high levels of air pollutants. “Water pollution is a major concern even though the clean water Act in the country requires that industrial waste water be treated to given standards before being drained to the government water treatment system”3.

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As a result of such high levels of air pollution, residents are exposed to high risks of contracting diseases such as cancer, kidney problems and respiratory complications such as asthma and bronchitis. Water pollution on the other hand exposes people to diseases and leads to large volumes of wastage. People living in such areas are also at a high risk of contracting skin complications and other organs toxicity as a result of water pollution. The state definitely needs to reconsider their environmental policies and implementation criteria to ensure the residents are not exposed to such high risks of health complication, and future generations are protected from water shortages.

Role of NGOS

In many regions today, conservation efforts are driven by non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Many are funding and supporting all aspects of conservation from basic tasks such as research to protection initiatives. Conservation schemes at the community level are now common, forming alliances with governments to encourage conservation from the grassroots level. These non-governmental organizations support and coordinate grassroots movements and sponsor environmental education initiatives to ensure that everyone takes responsibility for the environment around them, starting with the most basic step such as planting a tree or using water and energy wisely in homes.

“Recent trends of governments’ decentralization have resulted in control of forest resources and environmental concerns being left to local governments and agencies” 4. The outcome of such initiatives has been local people being involved in decision making processes and the whole community benefiting. The efforts also allow the NGOs to reach a bigger number of people at the same time. “In recent times, more and more local groups are assuming the role of promoting sustainable development while those living in and around forests are now responsible for them and benefit directly from their own efforts” 5. Grassroots movements have proven to be the efficient way to reach masses and create awareness on conservation efforts.

Pressure on forests, extreme climatic conditions and the need to preserve the environment, have been the drive behind the formation of majority of the NGOs. “Their formation helps create a disturbance to loggers and developers who are only interested in exploiting water bodies, forests and forest land” 6. A good example is the Amazon forest, which has been reduced by 20% in the last ten years. They create disturbances by protesting, reforming conservation laws at the local level and educating each other on the benefits of conserving the environment. They are also directly involved in researching and trying out new ideas that would make environmental conservation better and easier.

Managing population

“It is estimated that the world has a population of over 6.8 billion people while Rio de Janiero has a population of more than 15 million people”7. The same statistics indicate that in Rio, there is a new birth every 2 minutes, a death every 5 minutes, an international immigrant moving in every 40 minutes and in total, there is a net gain of one person every 10 minutes8.

Population growth is one of the major challenges facing Rio de Janiero today and the way it is dealt with now will determine how it affects the future of its water sources. The issues can be interpreted in many ways and can be beneficial or destructive depending with the way it is handled. The impact of population is many at times felt in consumption of natural resources such as water. An increased population means more demand for water which means more exploration of current water sources and other natural resources, which affect water availability.

A big population also means increased demand for food which means more demand for cultivation land. This could lead to destruction of forests and other natural habitats to create more room for agriculture. The rate at which the Amazon rainforest is diminishing is estimated to have grown by 69% in the last two years. Since a large population means a larger settlement space, the demand for land could be too high to allow a balance between settlement, cultivation and preservation of water sources. An increased population could also mean more production and industrial activities, factors that result in a higher demand for water9.

Methodology

The research methodology applied in this research project will be designed to achieve the set objectives of the paper. It will include study of books, academic journals, online articles, past projects by different authors, government statistics and interviews with experts in the water and environment departments. It will also include a study of various works on water crisis management in different regions of the world. A study on demographics and the economy of Rio de Janiero will be done to understand the background of the problem. It is evident that there are enough works and research projects done on how to manage and protect water bodies, perhaps from a realization that water shortage can be a big threat for the development and progress of a country. To prevent such crises and minimize possible damage, many countries have realized that the most important factor is preparedness. As a result, a lot of attention is being focused on how to stop such a situation from happening.

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It is also clear that many countries are spending a lot of money to ensure safety of their water bodies and other natural water supplies. Information from various reports by governmental and non-governmental organizations will be useful in understanding how much Rio is putting towards the same. These reports will prove very effective and relevant in trying to understand this paper’s concept. Recent and past books and research papers by different authors have been helpful in understanding the extent of the problem, and will be used to understand possible solutions.

Questionnaires will be the main source of primary data. The target population will include chief directors in Brazilian water authorities, government and officials in the water department, directors and staff in water related government and non-governmental water organizations, as well as regular citizens. The survey type adopted will ensure sampling is done from the target population.

In total, 300 questionnaires will be distributed among the target population. All participants will be 18 years and above. 20 questionnaires will be given to chief directors in different government water institutions. 30 will be given to directors in the same bodies and organizations. 20 coordinating directors and 20 finance officers in these organizations will also be among the sample population. 100 questionnaires will be distributed among environmental organizations, both government and non-governmental. The rest of the questionnaires will be spread among the normal population. This is aimed at ensuring that everyone’s view is heard. The questions will be easy and straight forward, making it easy for all the participants to answer them regardless of their level of education.

Another method of data collection to be used in this research will be interviews. There will be interviews with the minister of water in Brazil, chief director in Rio de Janiero’s water board, coordinating director and finance director in the same board, as well as project engineers and staffs in the body. There will also be interviews with officials in the environment department and other government organizations responsible for conservation of natural resources. Non-governmental organizations dealing with preservation measures will be involved in the discussions to help understand what the locals have to say about the issue. The purpose of these interviews will be to understand the role of different governmental institutions in managing water crises, and the water department’s capacity to handle them when they happen. It will be meant to understand the country’s preparedness in case of a crisis, especially in terms of saving lives through available water reserve facilities. Views from fellow students will be collected to get their thoughts on the subject and how it affects them.

Data collection and analysis

“In any study focusing on attitudes and perception, the importance of primary data cannot be over-emphasized” 10. In this project, it is expected that at least 80% of the questionnaires distributed will be returned and filled correctly. Interviews will be scheduled early to guarantee enough time for preparation by participants. Secondary data will be very important and will be collected to augment the research. Before any data is collected, permission will be sought from different authorities such as the water board. An initial visit to these institutions will be important for introductory purpose, familiarization as well as seeking consent for the research project.

Data collection will be done by administering questionnaires as discussed above. The questionnaires will have approximately 15 questions divided into two sections. The first section will seek to establish the level of awareness on the problem. The second section will be aimed at collecting ideas on possible measures to curb the problem. Answers to close-ended questions will be analyzed in percentages while the others will be individually analyzed and discussed.

Sample investigative questions

Section Research question Investigative questions
A Awareness on the problem -Are you aware of a possible water shortage for future generations?
-How important is the subject to you?
-In your view, is there enough awareness on water related issues?
-Currently, which water issues bother you most?
-Whose responsibility is it to protect water sources and how?
B Possible solutions -In your opinion, what is the best solution to this problem?
-How can the government handle issues that threaten the security of water sources in this region?
-What is your view on the relationship between this issue and population control?
-What do you consider to be the biggest hindrance towards protecting our water sources?

Conclusion

While the world’s population keeps going up nothing much is done to protect the natural resources. The importance of clean water cannot be over-emphasized enough. While developed countries battle with pollution, developing countries battle pollution and a high demand for natural resources such as water11. As a result, many countries are battling possible crises in future if radical measures are not implemented. One such region is Rio de Janiero, where estimates show that water available can only sustain the country up to 2025.

It is estimated that the world population will grow by another 45% in the next half a century. This combined with urbanization and industrialization, makes it more important to protect water sources to ensure demand does not exceed supply. Increased demand for water today has resulted in adverse damages on the environment, and has put the lives of future generations at risk12.

Rio de Janiero is the second largest state in Brazil. The state has a population of more 15 million people and is highly industrialized. The result is a high demand of water and other natural resources. Recent estimates reveal that future generations may not have enough drinking water. It is estimated that the current water supply can only last up to 2025. Considering this, the need for urgent measures is inevitable.

Rapid population growth is one of the major challenges facing the city today and the way it is dealt with now will determine how it affects the future of its water sources. The issues can be interpreted in many ways and can be beneficial or destructive depending with the way it is handled. The impact of population is many at times felt in consumption of natural resources such as water. An increased population means more demand for water which means more exploration of current water sources and other natural resources, which affect water availability.

Issues of concern towards resolving this problem include pollution, population and conservation. This research project intends to gather both primary and secondary data and compile an analyzing of facts and information collected. The target population is diverse enough to ensure everyone’s opinions and suggestions are put into consideration

The research methodology applied in this research project will be designed to achieve the set objectives of the paper. It will include study of books, academic journals, past projects by different authors, government statistics to understand the scope of the problem. It will also include administering questionnaires and conducting interviews. Data collection will be done by administering questionnaires as discussed above. Answers to close-ended questions will be analyzed in percentages while the others will be individually analyzed and discussed. Limitations expected in the research include area of coverage and unwillingness by some government officials to corporate.

Bibliography

Barischon, Michael. Protecting the Environment. New York: Routledge Publishers, 2006.

Central Intelligence Agency. The world fact book, 2011. Web.

Cowen, Linda. “The impact of corporate characteristics on social responsibility disclosure: A typology and frequency-based analysis.” Accounting, Organizations and Society 12 (1999): 111-112.

Hinrichsen, Dunson. Population and the environment: The global challenge, 2011. Web.

Louis, Regis. Rio De Janiero city. Footscary: Lonely Planet, 2010.

Marthy, Bruno. Environmental Standards and Global Environmental Accountability: A Developing Country Perspective. New York: Routledge Publishers, 2007.

Punch, Keith. Developing effective research proposals. London: SAGE, 2006.

Rondinelli, Michael. “Environmental citizenship in local corporations: Social responsibility and sustainable development.” European Management Journal, 18 (2000), 70-84.

Schmoll, Olver. Protecting groundwater for health: Managing the quality of drinking- water sources. London: IWA Pub, 2006.

Sturges, Payne. “National environmental measures for minority and low- income populations.” Environmental Research, 102 (2006), 22-54.

Tillman, Glenn, Basic water treatment: Trouble shooting and problem solving. Chelsea: Ann Arbor Press, 2005.

Unesco. Water for people, water for life: A joint report by the twenty-three UN Agencies concerned with freshwater. Paris [u.a]: Unesco, 2011.

World Health Organization. Guidelines for drinking water: Control in small-community supplies. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2011.

Footnotes

  1. World Health Organization, Guidelines for drinking water: Control in small-communitysupplies (Geneva: World Health Organization, 2011), 112.
  2. Unesco, Water for people, water for life: A joint report by the twenty-three UNAgencies concerned with freshwater (Paris [u.a]: Unesco, 2011), 344.
  3. Glenn Tillman, Basic water treatment: Trouble shooting and problem solving (Chelsea: Ann Arbor Press, 2005), 111.
  4. Payne Sturges, “National environmental measures for minority and low-income populations.” Environmental Research, 102 (2006) 22-54.
  5. Bruno Marthy, Environmental Standards and Global Environmental Accountability: A Developing Country Perspective (New York: Routledge Publishers, 2007), 34.
  6. Linda Cowen, “The impact of corporate characteristics on social responsibilitydisclosure: A typology and frequency-based analysis.” Accounting, Organizations and Society, 12 (1999): 111-112.
  7. World Health Organization,Guidelines for drinking water: Control in small-communitysupplies (Geneva: World Health Organization, 2011), 112.
  8. Dunson Hinrichsen, Population and the environment: The global challenge, 2010. Web.
  9. Olver Schmoll, Protecting groundwater for health: Managing the quality of drinking- water sources (London: IWA Pub, 2006), 116.
  10. Keith Punch, Developing effective research proposals (London: SAGE, 2006), 226.
  11. Rondinelli, Michael, “Environmental citizenship in local corporations: Social responsibility and sustainable development.” European Management Journal 18 (2000): 70-84.
  12. Michael Barischon, Protecting the Environment (New York: Routledge Publishers, 2006), 13.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 28). Protecting the Current and Future Water Supply for Rio de Janiero. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/protecting-the-current-and-future-water-supply-for-rio-de-janiero/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 28). Protecting the Current and Future Water Supply for Rio de Janiero. https://studycorgi.com/protecting-the-current-and-future-water-supply-for-rio-de-janiero/

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StudyCorgi. "Protecting the Current and Future Water Supply for Rio de Janiero." December 28, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/protecting-the-current-and-future-water-supply-for-rio-de-janiero/.

References

StudyCorgi. 2021. "Protecting the Current and Future Water Supply for Rio de Janiero." December 28, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/protecting-the-current-and-future-water-supply-for-rio-de-janiero/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Protecting the Current and Future Water Supply for Rio de Janiero'. 28 December.

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