Since 1995, the Baixada de Jacarepaguá area was the fastest growing region of Rio de Janeiro in terms of population and new construction, but the lack of available potable water seriously threatened the quality of life in the region. To overcome the lack of resources and of operational capacity to take on the challenge in a timely manner in the public sector, the Barra da Tijuca Community Association Câmara Comunitária da Barra da Tijuca (CCBT) reached out to the State Company of Water and Wastewater (Companhia Estadual de Águas e Esgotos-CEDAE), and to interested construction and commercial companies in the area, to leverage private financing for new water pipelines in exchange for water for future development project completion.
In the early 1990s the City embarked on an aggressive program to protect and enhance the quality of New York City’s drinking water. Based on an extensive water quality monitoring and research program, the City determined the key sources of pollutants were inadequately treated wastewater; wildlife, especially waterfowl; agriculture; and stormwater runoff from development. The City designed a comprehensive watershed protection strategy to target these primary sources of pollution, incorporating both protective and remedial initiatives. The watershed program provides an alternative to expensive end-of-pipe filtration treatment.
In September 2010, New York City released the NYC Green Infrastructure Plan, which presents an alternative approach to improving water quality by integrating green infrastructure, such as bioswales and green roofs, with investments to optimize the existing system and build targeted, cost-effective “grey” or traditional infrastructure. The full implementation of this plan will save the City approximately $1.4 billion and reduce combined sewer overflows by 12.1 billion gallons per year.