Every Drop Counts: An Examination of the Causes, Consequences, and Solutions to the Drought Crisis in Brazil’s Southeast Region

Changes in Brazil’s climate have aggravated drought conditions, yet the government continues to favor populist policies over ensuring sustainable energy and water resources. This paper analyses the underlying environmental and policy conditions that have led to Brazil’s current power and water crisis and argues in favor of an overhaul of the federal energy infrastructure to reduce political influence in a regulated market and to improve initiatives of reforestation to mitigate the effects of climate change. The effects of poor climate and energy policies so clearly manifested in the Brazilian crisis should serve as a warning to other countries that sustainability is a choice, not a causal eventuality.

Fishing in Wastewaters: Fishery Models and Sanitation in Brazil

In 2015–2016, Brazil experienced an outbreak of infectious diseases transmitted by mosquitos (“Ædes ægypti”), which was associated with the lack of sanitation in densely populated urban areas. Regardless of the Sanitation Act which was enacted in 2007, half of the country’s population still lacks access to wastewater collection. This study assesses, through a bioeconomic model, which is usually applied to fishery management, the sanitation policy throughout the last two decades (1995–2014), when an outbreak of mosquitos had been taking place. Just like the rate of growth of fish stocks meets an upper bound when catches increase, the volume of wastewater collected ought to meet an environmental absorption limit. Therefore, a logistic, long-run program of wastewater collection is compared with the volume actually collected by state companies. Results suggest that these companies’ investments in sanitation facilities have been insufficient and inefficient. The maximum economic yield (MEY) occurred in 2003, whereas budgetary sanitation commitments peaked as of 2007.

Environmental Campaign Awareness, Participation, and Media Visibility

Environmental campaign awareness is a precursor to partaking in environmentally sustainable actions promoted by formal organizations. Although it is presumed relevant media visibility will lead to greater awareness, little research has investigated how media presence relates to individuals’ awareness of, or participation in, the national and international environmental campaigns available in Australia. This study presents key findings from secondary analysis of newspaper and Internet mentions of eight environmental organizations and compares this with an online survey of 412 higher education employees and students at an Australian university seeking to improve its organizational environmental sustainability literacy and activity levels. Findings reveal differential trends between media presence and specific campaigns as well as varied levels of awareness and participation among the campaigns. Contextualized in critical theory, key recommendations make conceptual and practical suggestions for augmenting communication and engagement strategies with environmental issues and groups in light of existing research.