This roundtable aimed to bring up a debate of extreme importance for the future of waters in Brazil.

The proposal was to provide an opportunity to discuss strategies and priorities for raising the issue of water as a fundamental right for political debate campaigns in 2018.

The mediator started the conversation by reminding us that listening to society regarding the use of our waters is an essential factor for a quality public policy. In this way, the guests presented their perspectives for the creation of a document to be sent to the candidates of the 2018 elections, thus, making the demands and ideas of society heard.

It was evident in the speeches that the inequalities in Brazilian society and also in relation to the distribution of water in Brazil, since the attendance of demands is very unequal considering the watersheds, brings the need to improve implementation and water resources policy. Each particularity by basin should be a path to be followed, especially the recovery of springs and the control of pesticide use.

Another point was the statement that putting water on Brazil’s political agenda is a great challenge and a great opportunity. It is necessary to incorporate water as a fundamental element in human survival and to rethink its uses is to think about preservation in all its conjuncture. It is still necessary to incorporate in public and government policies, and in the citizenship agenda. To this end, it was stressed that it is necessary to strengthen public organs related to water resources, noting that the mission is to understand that water is a human right and its preservation is paramount. Water is an integrating element that does not recognize biome division, political or administrative division of states and municipalities, only recognizes its ecological cycle.

Another highlight was the note that candidates must make a commitment to water and to approve the Ecological-Economic Zoning. Candidates must publicly declare their commitment to water.

Another highlighted point by the panelists was the need to read the water issue in three perspectives of values: water as a human right, that is, access to water and sewage networks that brings a set of possibilities such as access to judicial issues due to the lack of access to sewage, the co-responsibility between different types of government with regard to water and the importance of protecting the recovery of ecosystems responsible for freshwater renewal. These three principles unfold into a broad agenda for water, especially if we look at who and how they use water.

There was also in the dialogues of this roundtable, a more philosophical proposal for debate, remembering the Earth Charter Principles, and the first concerning ‘Respecting Earth and life in all their diversity’. Water has a number of dimensions, and one of them is that water is also an individual. The concept of water as an individual denies the anthropocentric view of man as the only element to possess rights, that is, nature and water also have rights to protection.

Another point of the open conversation with the public showed that we should seek to reinforce the need to develop a platform to bring proposals to election candidates so that water becomes strategic for Brazilian society. This requires mobilization campaigns and awareness should be permanent. It was mentioned that in more than 20 years of existence, the National Water Resources Policy has been a conquest for society, in the sense of having a guarantee of a continuous democratization of the political process of water management. Still in this scenario, it was emphasized that in the national water resources policy, the watershed committees are achievements of the Brazilian society that must be considered in the electoral process, and should be heard and inserted in the construction of the water resources policy, with quality and quantity of water in our country.

Giving the floor to the representatives of political parties who were invited due to the theme of the roundtable, they addressed the lack of planning and management of waters that culminated in the problems detected in several regions of the country with the water crises that occurred. This debate made it clear to those present that water cycle instability and severe droughts will require politicians to improve water supply planning henceforth. The uncertainties of climate change will require a response from planners so that municipal governments will have to, from now on, establish conditions so that in low rainfall conditions we do not have what we are living at the national level. Another prominent point in this line of thought is that it is necessary to get out of speech and go into practice with greater debate with society.

André Lima


Marussia Whately (Alliance For Water – SP)
Pedro Ivo (NGO Terrazul)
Adriana Ramos (ISA)
Malu Ribeiro (SOS Mata Atlântica Foundation)
Carsius Azevedo (Novo Encanto Desenvolvimento Ecológico)
Angelo Lima (Water Governance Observatory)
Expedito Santos, Margarido e Gutemberg (Representatives of political parties).