PNSB 2017: Water supply is present in 99.6% of the municipalities, but sewage treatment, in only 60.3%
July 22, 2020 10h00 AM | Last Updated: July 29, 2020 11h31 AM
The percentage of municipalities with water supply by means of a general system hit 99.6% (5,548 municipalities) in 2017, being the system fully at work in 5,517 municipalities, with activities interrupted in 22 and still being implemented in nine municipalities. In 2008, that proportion was 99.4% (5,531). In 2017, supply was suspended for six or more hours in 44.5% (2,454) of the municipalities with active supply services and there was rationing in 20.8% (1,146). Both conditions were most commonly observed in the Northeast Region, where there was intermittent supply in 67.7% of the locations and rationing in 42.5% of them. Of the 22 municipalities without water supply by means of a general system, 13 were in the Northeast, seven in the North and two in the Central West.
There were, in 2017, 59.8 million active household economies (housing units with water supply where there was a bill paid and/or consumption) supplied in the country, an increase of 32% against 2008 (45.3 million). In spite of that, Brazil still had 9.6 million housing units without water supply by means of a general system in 2017. That number of active household economies supplied corresponds to 86.1% of the housing units in the country. There was also a great difference between the Major Regions: 47.6% in the North; 73.4% in the Northeast; 90.9% in the Central West; 93.3% in the South and 97% in the Southeast.
As for treatment, 4,873 (88.3%) of the municipalities with active services had Water Treatment Stations (ETAs) and/or Simplified Treatment Units (UTSs) in operation in 2017. The Central West (97.6%) and the South (97%) had the biggest percentages of municipalities with ETAs and/or UTSs in operation, whereas the Northeast, the lowest (75.8%). Among the localities with active water supply services, 11.7% had no treatment, reaching 24.2% in the Northeast, 21.6% in the North, 4.6% in the Southeast, 3.0% in the South and 2.4% in the Central West.
A total 5.5% of the volume of water distributed in the country is not treated before reaching the population. Considering the volume treated and supplied, 75.1% receives conventional treatment, which encompasses the steps of flocculation, decantation, filtration, desinfection and, occasionally, additional steps. Another 4.2 receive non-conventional treatment (without all those steps); and 20%, only disinfection (and, occasionally, fluoridation and correction of pH).
About 40% of the water was wasted between the entry to the distribution system and the final destination for the user. In 2017, 52.4 million m³/day were obtained (fresh water: 50.98 million m3/day and brackish water 1.47 million m3/day); 45 million m³/day treated, 46.1 million m³/day distributed (being 43.6 million m³/day treated and 2.5 million m³/day not treated) and only 26.6 million m³/day consumed.
In relation to the entities responsible for the execution of the service, in 2008, the state sanitation companies and the municipal authorities were the executors, respectively, in 66.4% and 9.3% of the municipalities, in 2017 these percentages changed to 69.5% and 10.3%. In relation to city governments, private companies and the associations were the executors in 41.6%, 4.5% and 13.1% in 2008; in 2017, were in charge of the service in 35.2%, 3.6% and 11.6% of the municipalities, respectively.
The survey also showed that the coverage of sewage sanitation by data collection changed from 55.2% (3,069 municipalities) in 2008 to 60.3% (3,359) in 2017, and in 3,206 localities the service was active and in 153 being implemented. Nevertheless, in 2,211 municipalities (39.7%), there was no offer of the service. Whereas in the Southeast, the sewage disposal network served 96.5% of the municipalities, in the North that percentage was of only 16.2%.
There were, in 2017, 35.3 million active household economies with sewage disposal (housing units with water supply where there was a bill paid and/or consumption) in the country, an increase of 39.2% in relation to 2008 (25.4 million). Even so, the country still had 34.1 million housing units without treatment by network in 2017. That number of active economies with sewage disposal corresponds to 50.8% in the housing units, a percentage significantly lower to the coverage of water supply. There was also a major change in the Major Regions: 7.4% in the North; 25.4% in the Northeast; 41.6% in the South; 50.8% in the Central West, and 76.7% in the Southeast.
As for treatment, 62.8% of the municipalities with active services (2,013) had Sewage Treatment Stations (ETEs) in operation. The Central West and the South registered the biggest percentages of municipalities with ETEs (94.4% and 71.7%, respectively), whereas the Northeast, the lowest (51.2%). Among the localities with sewage disposal services, 37.2% had no treatment, and reached 48.8% in the Northeast, 37.3% in the Southeast, 30.6% in the North, 28.3% in the South and 5.6% in the Central West.
The volume of sewage treated per day (11.0 million m³) corresponds to 77.1% of the volume of sewage collected, measured or estimated by the service-rendering agencies. In relation to the level of treatment (preliminary, primary, secondary and tertiary, in increasing order of efficiency), 69.8% of the volume treated was of the secondary type (oxidation of the organic charge by means of the action of microorganisms), 21.9% of the tertiary type (removal of pollutants such as nutrients, pathogenic agents, inorganic solids dissolved or in suspension), 5.9% of the primary type (removal of sedimentable floating solids in suspension), 2.4% of only preliminary type of treatment (removal of oil, floating dirt and sand).
As for entities in charge of the execution of the service, the proportion of municipalities where the city government was the only or one of the entities fell from 57.1% in 2008 to 46.2% in 2017. The presence of state companies as responsible for the service changed from 32.4% to 41.6%, of the municipal authorities, from 9.6% to 11.0% and of the private companies from 2.1% to 3.1%.
In relation to the charging of those basic sanitation services, water supply was charged in most of the municipalities where it existed in 2008 (94.0%), changing to 94.6% of the localities with active services in 2017. The charge for sewage disposal was lower, changing from 55.1% in 2008 to 63.9%, in 2017.
As an economic instrument of social policy to guarantee universalization of the access to basic sanitation, the subsidies (discounts) for users are present in 72.6% (3,783) of the municipalities with water supply and in 67.8% (1,387) of those with sewage disposal, where there was charge of a tax or tariff for the respective services. In northern municipalities, for both services, this social policy instrument existed in fewer than 40% of the localities where there was a charge of tax or tariff. The biggest percentages were observed in the Northeast, where there were subsidies to users of the supply services in 79.2% of the municipalities with charge; and in the South, where this proportion was of 79.3% of the municipalities for the sewage disposal service.
The most common criteria for the concession of subsidies were enrollment in social programs (69.6% of the municipalities with subsidies for water supply and 52.8% for sewage disposal), characteristics of the housing unit (63.2% for water and 68.5% for sewage) and earnings of the user or their family (56.8% for water and 63% for sewage). In the country, about 2.8 million household economies (residential units provided with services) received subsidies in the charge of tax or tariff for water supply and 1.5 million in the charge of sewage disposal.
The data comes from the National Survey of Basic Sanitation: Water Supply and Sewage Disposal (PNSB) 2017, which investigates water supply services by a general system in formal entities (with CNPJ) that render this type of service. The publication, tables and presentation area available on the right of the page.
Water supply is close to 100% of coverage
Water supply by a general system was in operation in 5,517 municipalities, and in 33 of them, one or more entities would offer the service, among which only nine had the service already under implementation. In 22 municipalities, the service had been stopped all over 2017, and in another 22 no entity was rendering that type of service. The interruption was mainly due to the occurrence of drought, a phenomenon concentrated in the Northeast, especially in Rio Grande do Norte, where 21 municipalities had at least one entity with such services, and in Paraíba, with 33.
There were, in 2017, 59.8 million active household economies (households with water supply paying bills and/or with consumption) supplied in the country, an increase of 32% against 2008 (45.3 million). That number of household economies corresponds to 86.1% of the total in Brazil. There was also a big difference between the Major Regions: 47.6% in the North; 73.4% in the Northeast; 90.9% in the Central West; 93.3% in the South and 97% in the Southeast.
Between 2008 and 2017, the percentage of Brazilian municipalities that had water supply by a general system remained virtually the same, with a change from 99.4% to 99.6% (5.548), but with an increase of 3.7 percentage points since 1989 (95.9%). In 88.3% of the municipalities with services in operation (4,873), water is treated in ETAs and/or UTSs. About 75,.% of the treated water distributed in the country goes through conventional treatment, which is lower in less populated municipalities. Lack of treatment is observed in 24.2% of the municipalities with services in operation in the Northeast and in 21.6% in the North Region.
Since 1989, the percentage of municipalities with water supply has been above 90% in all the Major Regions, except for the North, where the service was available in 86.9% of the municipalities in 1989. The data of 2017 show that, in the South and Southeast, water supply services are present in all the municipalities, being roughly at the same level the Central West (99.6%) and the Northeast (99.3%). Water supply reached 98.4% of the municipalities in the North, the Major Region recording major advances, after a result of 86.9% in 1989.
|Municipalities with water supply services by system of distribution - PNSB time series - 1989 to 2017|
|Brazil||4 245||5 391||5 531||5 548|
|Northeast||1 371||1 722||1 772||1 781|
|Southeast||1 429||1 666||1 668||1 668|
|South||834||1 142||1 185||1 191|
|Source: IBGE, Diretoria de Pesquisas, Coordenação de População e Indicadores Sociais, Pesquisa Nacional de Saneamento Básico 1989/2017.|
Among the 5,517 municipalities with watersupply by a general distribution system in operation, the interruption of supply for six or more hours was reported by 2,454 (44.5%), whereas rationing took place in 1 146 of them (20.8%). Both phenomena were most common in the Northeast, where 67.7% of the localities had intermittent supply, and 42.5%, rationing.
Ocurrences of intermittent supply were short, in general: in 1,441 municipalities (58.7% of those with such occurrences), one or more entities reported a durantion of one day, at most; and 871 (35.5%), of two to three days. Short periods of intermittent services can be of minor seriousness as long as housing units have water reservoirs or tanks for that purpose, but can be very trase of housing units without such options. Rationing, however, took longer: in 392 municipalities (34.2% of those where rationing took place) one or more entities reported occurrences not surpassing 10 days, but, in 299 (26.1%), there was rationing for more than 6 months.
Water loss remains at 40% of the abstracted volume
Water supply services encompass the activities of abstraction, treatment and distribution of water to the final consumer. Between the entry to the system and the consumer a roughly 40% of the volume abstracted is lost. In 2017, the total abstracted amounted to 52.4 million m³/day (50.98 m3/day of fresh water and 1.47 m3/day of brackish water ); 45 million m³/day treated, 46.1m³/day distributed (43.6 m³/day treated and 2,5 m³/day not treated) and only 26.6 million m³/day consumed.
Almost 70% of the water abstracted in the country is fresh water coming from surface sources, whereas 25.5% comes from deep wells. Only 2.7% is brackish, saline or salt water. In the Northeast, however, abstraction of brackish water amounts to 10.2%. In 2017, the abstracted total amounted to 51 million cubic meterswater and 1.5 million m³/day of brackish water.
40% of the municipalities have no access to sewage disposal services
In nine years, sewage disposal by a general system changed from 55.2% municipalities in 2008 to 60.3% in 2017. That year, there were entities with services in operation in 3,206 of the municipalities, and with services under implementation in 175 (with services under implementation as the only type in 153).
In 2,211 municipalities (39.7%) the service is inexistent. The Northeast and South recorded the highest frequency of municipalities without services in operation: 915 and 704 respectively. In the Southeast, that number falls to 68, representing only 2.9% of that service in the country. In 2,013 municipalities, there are ETEs in operation, and in 1,193 there are no treatment stations.
|Municipalities with sewage disposal by a general system - PNSB time series - 1989 - 2017|
|Brazil||2 091||2 877||3 069||3 359|
|Southeast||1 301||1 574||1 586||1 609|
|Source: IBGE, Diretoria de Pesquisas, Coordenação de População e Indicadores Sociais, Pesquisa Nacional de Saneamento Básico 1989/2017.|
Coverage of sewage disposal services rendered by a general system is lower than that of water supply services, and much more heterogeneous, among the Major Regions. In 2017, whereas in the Southeast more than 90% of the municipalities had that type of services the proportion was only 8.4% in the North in the same year. In spite of that, the Region has almost doubled the service since the start of the series (16.2% in 2017). Also in the Northeast, the increase was similar: the proportion of municipalities with the service more than doubled, having changed from 26.1% in 1989 to 52.7% in 2017. The best performance was that of the Central West, where municipalities with sewage disposal changed from 12.9% in 1989 to 43.0% in 2017.
In the South, the advance was much more limited, contrasting with other socioeconomic indicators of that Major Region, which, in general, are positive in relation to the other ones in the country. It was observed that in states such as Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul, a common form of sewage disposal is by means of storm drains, sometimes as long as households treat their sewage before by means of individual septic tanks.
There is, in Brazil, a volume of 14.3 million m³ of sewer disposed per day, out of which 11 million m³ are treated, being equivalent to 77.1%. As for the level of treatment (preliminary, primary, secondary and tertiary, in growing order of efficiency), 69.8% of the volume received a type of secondary treatment (oxidation of organic matter by microorganisms), 21.9% of tertiary treatment (removal of pollutants such as nutrients, pathogenic elements, inorganic solids dissolved and in suspension, 5.9% of primary treatment (removal of sedimentable solids in suspension and fluctuating solids), 2.4% of only preliminary treatment (removal of oil, fluctuating dirt and sand).
State companies for sewage disposal services were present in a bigger number of municipalities
As for entities responsible for the execution of water supply services, in 2008, state sanitation companies and municipal authorities were the executing agencies in, respectively, 66.4% and 9.3% of the municipalities. In 2017, these percentages changed from 69.5% and 10.3%. City governments, private companies and associations were the executors in, respectively, 41.6%, 4.5% and 13.1% in 2008; in 2017, they executed the service in 35.2%, 3.6% and 11.6% of the municipalities, respectively.
As for entities responsible for the execution of sewage disposal services, the proportion of municipalities where the city government proportion of municipalities was the only or one of the executors of the service fell from 57.1% in 2008 to 46.2% in 2017. The presence of state companies as executors of the service changed from 32.4% to 41.6% of municipal authorities (Autonomous Water and Sewarage Services - SAAEs), from 9.6% to 11.0% and of private companies from 2.1% to 3.1%.
Private companies are present in 3.6% of the municipalities in the case of distribution of water and in 3.1% in the case of sewage disposal. The proportion observed in water supply is, in fact, lower than the proportion registered in 2008 (4.5%). The decrease was mainly due to a movement of reestatization that took place in the State of Tocantins, where, in 2008, 126 municipalities had the service rendered by a private entity, against only 52 in 2017.
Concession and program contracts are the main delegation instruments
Municipalities can render services directly or delegate them. The main delegation instruments are concession, program contracts or decree laws. Among state sanitation companies, the main instruments delegation of water services are concession (1,636 contracts or 42.7%) and program contracts (1,260 or 32.9%); and for sewage disposal services, program contracts (639 or 47.9%) and concession (539 or 40.4%).
In the case of SAAEs, the predominant instrument is a law or decree, both for water (85.7%) and for sewage (88.4%). In this case, the municipality renders the service indirectly, whereas private companies operate by means of concession for water in 85.0% of the cases (170 municipalities) and for sewage in 94% (94 municipalities).
In private associations, the most common is service-rendering without the existence of any delegation instruments. In general, these associations are very simple and their services are a fruit of the organization of residents in order to make up for the absence of public services.
As for the existence of regulation agencies for sanitation services, it was observed that water supply was regulated in 87.3% of the state companies, 65.0% of the private companies, 36.4% of SAAEs and 5.2% of city governments. Sewage disposal was regulated in 89.4% of the state companies, 73.3%% of the private companies, 4.5% of the SAAEs and 4.3% of city governments.
With reference to the existence of due period and regulation agency, a major part of the delegation instrument is in accordance with the legislation, especially regarding sewage disposal services. On the other hand, the existence of universalization is less common, mainly in municipalities in the Northeast Region.
Both for water supply and for sewage disposal, most of the contracts will be due in 2020 and 2050, being a highlight the decade of 2030s. The average duration of these contracts is 30 years, in the case of water supply, and of 31 years, in the case of sewage disposal.
Total household economies with water supply by a general system advance 32%
There were, in 2017, 59.8 million active household economies (households with water supply paying for a bill and/or with consumption) supplied in the country, an increase of 32% in comparison with 2008 (45.3 million). That number of household economies corresponds to 86.1% of the housing units in the country. Big changes were also observed among the Major Regions: 47.6% in the North; 73.4% in the Northeast; 90.9% in the Central West; 93.3% in the South and 97% in the Southeast,
Each unit, either residential or not, covered by a general system, consumes, on average, 420.1 liters per day. Considering that most active economies is in households (91.4%) and the average of three residents per housing unit, there is a daily consumption of 140 liters per day per resident. The United Nations Organization (UN) recommends consumption of 110 liters/day per resident. All the regions are above that figure.
In relation to sewage disposal, there was an increase of 39.2% of housing units covered. In 2017, active household economies corresponded to 50.8% (50.8% (35.3 million) of the total permanent private housing units in Brazil, versus 43.6% in 2008 (25.4 million).
Charge for water services reaches 94.6% of the municipalities and, for sewage disposal, 63.9%
The percentage of municipalities with services in operation charging for water supply remained stable, with a change from 94.0%, in 2008, to 94.6%, in 2017. In the South, it amounts to roughly 100%; and in the North, with the lowest percentage, there was a slight decrease from 86.4% to 86.%.
Regarding sewage disposal, the national index rose from 55.1% in 2008 to 63.9% in 2017. The biggest expansion came from the North and Northeast. The Central West had the biggest percentage of municipalities, with 88.2%, and the Northeast, the lowest, with 39.9%.
Among the executing agencies of water supply, there were 7,465 registries of entities charging fares in the municipality surveyed, out of which 5,431 have minimum fare.
Water supply subsidies hit 79.2% of the municipalities in the Northeast
Subsidies to users were present in 3,783 municipalities with water supply and in 1,387 of those with sewage disposal, corresponding to 72.6% and 67.8% of the total municipalities where fares or fees were charged for the respective services. Proportionally, in the municipalities of the North, that social policy economic instrument was less frequent: for both services, less than 40% of the localities where there was charging of fares or fees were covered. The Northeast, in turn, was a highlight in terms of water supply services, for which some users received subsidies in 79.2% of the municipalities; and the South, in relation to sewage disposal services, for which that took place in 79.2% of the municipalities. For both services, the most common type of subsidy, which was almost hegemonically distributed, was discount in the fare or fee.
In general, subsidies are granted only to economies served and that fulfill some preestablished criteria. Those should be defined by the holder, the service renderer and the regulating agency, and may vary according to municipalities and executing agencies. They should, however, always be aimed at universalization, in such a way that the beneficiary should have a progressive character and encompass that with a smaller capacity of payment.