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Laws and regulations

Since 2011, Brazilian law on discharging of effluents has become stricter and companies' investments in water treatment are driven by a higher risk of fines. At the same time, federal government is pushing for the development of sanitation within municipalities.

CONAMA, linked to the Ministry of Environment,  is the federal consultative and deliberative forum for environmental issues. Its technical groups are composed of representatives from different parts of society. The council, with representatives of various stakeholders defined by a governmental decree, defines resolutions that will later be introduced to the government.

State agencies, such as CETESB (São Paulo) and INEA, are responsible for executing, controlling and enforcing environmental legislation. CETESB is considered a role model in Brazil. States also play an important role in communicating the positive effects of clean technology to the industry.

Industry’s consumption of superficial water reserves is charged and regulated by basin committees. Businesses need a permit from the government to capture water from a basin establishing a fixed fee for caption and discharge. This measure seeks to incentivize rational use of water and to obtain financial resources to recover hydric basins. However, the price of water from the basins is lower than purchasing from concessionaries. In the Southeast region (states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais) most basins already charge or are in process of implementing charging measures for consumption of water.