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Water governance and natural disasters in the MRSP, Brazil

A Região Metropolitana de São Paulo, localizada no sudeste do Brasil, é o terceiro maior conglomerado urbano do mundo, com uma população de pouco menos de 20 milhões de habitantes. Entre seus principais problemas destaca-se a ocupação de áreas de risco, como encostas e margens de cursos de água, que estão sujeitos à inundação, enchentes e deslizamentos de terra*. 

 The Metropolitan Region of São Paulo (MRSP), located in southeastern Brazil, is the third largest urban conglomerate in the world, with 39 municipalities and a population of just under 20 million inhabitants. Among its major problems is the occupation of inappropriate and risky areas such as slopes and banks of watercourses, which are subjected to inundation, flooding and landslides. This is a result of chaotic settle- ment that is due to the absence of collaborative governance and the lack of the authorities’ preparedness to deal with complex situations.

This article addresses the issue of environmental disasters in the metropolis and its relation to water governance. Despite the progress that has been achieved, discussions on natural disasters should be organised in participatory arenas so that civil society can be involved in the man- agement and decision-making processes. Therefore, it is proposed that solutions be sought by integrating governmental decision-making processes and participative management. 


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