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Financing arrangements for good environmental practices are among the most common themes at the 6th World Water Forum


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Two solutions developed by the Brazilian National Water Agency (ANA) were the subject of four presentations at the 6th World Water Forum being held in Marseille, France, through to March 17. The Superintendent of Water Resource Administration, Rodrigo Flecha, and Water Resources specialist, Paulo Libânio, made presentations to Forum participants on the operation of the Watershed Decontamination Program (PRODES) and the Water Producer Program at four different sessions attended by some 300 experts from different countries. ANA established the Watershed Decontamination Program (PRODES) in 2001 to improve the quality of water sources. The aim of the program is to encourage the establishment and expansion of sewage treatment plants to reduce water pollution levels. Also known as the "Program for Purchase of Treated Sewage", Prodes not finance construction works or facilities, it pays for the sewage that is effectively treated by selected enterprises. In basic terms, Prodes is granting Federal financial incentives, in the form of payment for treated sewage, to those sewage service providers that invest in the construction, expansion and operation of Sewage Treatment Plants (WWTP). The funds are only released after quarterly inspections undertaken by ANA, which checks whether the conditions laid down in the contract are being met. Between 2001 and 2011 there were 55 sewage treatment plants contracted, involving a total contract value of R$ 200.82 million. This generated investments by sewage service providers in the order of R$ 720 million. More than 5.6 million Brazilians have benefited from the initiative. The Water Production program supports, guides and certifies projects aimed at reducing erosion and silting of water sources in rural areas. This leads to quality improvements and the expansion and legalization of water supply from watersheds that have strategic value for Brazil. For the Water Producer Program to be adopted in a given river basin or State, an institutional arrangement is required between local institutions and ANA that permits technical and financial support for rural farmers who wish to participate in the program. Water basins that supply major Brazilian cities such as Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo have already deployed such projects. The Water Producer program has been paying farmers for water and soil conservation actions on their properties since 2006. One of the working principles is that farmers will receive a return commensurate with the environmental service provided, subject to a preliminary inspection of the property - the value varies with each project. The degree of reduction in soil erosion and sedimentation, improved vegetation cover on riverbanks and the effectiveness of these actions to reduce pollution and increased water infiltration into the soil are all considered.
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Two solutions developed by the Brazilian National Water Agency (ANA) were the subject of four presen