Journal article Open Access

Unequal access to water and environmental inequality in the Rio de Janeiro Metropolitan Region: a case study of Queimados

Quintslr, Suya; Maiello, Antonella; Britto, Ana Lúcia

The reduced rainfall in 2014-2015 raised the question of scarcity of water supply in Southeastern Brazil, including the Rio de Janeiro Metropolitan Area (RMRJ). Problems of access to water in the metropolitan periphery are not new. This article seeks to understand the processes underpinning situations of vulnerability related to water access in the RMRJ, focusing on a case study carried out in Queimados municipality, RJ. The study applied a qualitative methodology involving analysis of documentation, observation, interviews, and a survey, and took 18 months. The objective was to identify and problematize the processes of production and reproduction of environmental inequalities in the metropolis, with a focus on the differential access to water. The results suggest that policy decisions about water supply systems have reinforced the situation of social exclusion, making difficult the access to an essential environmental resource for a population that is also deprived of economic and political resources.


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