Brazil's Water Crisis

Woman washing her hands in Brazil


  • 4 million lack access to safe water
  • 34.6 million lack access to improved sanitation
  • 8% of the total population lives on less than US$3.10 per day
Brazil map outline


  • Market assessment conducted in 2016
  • WaterCredit implementation strategy currently in development

The Water & Sanitation Crisis in Brazil

Brazil has a large population – 203 million people. While access to safe water and sanitation has increased since 2010, there are still deep inequalities in access among the country’s geographical regions, rural and urban communities and households.

Currently, there are four million people without access to safe water and almost 35 million without proper sanitation. For those who do have access to safe water, the water supply downtime, disruption in service and deficiencies in drinking water systems remain challenging.

At the same time, there is a growing set of financial institutions with interest in expanding their services to offer solutions for water and sanitation needs to people in need. With microfinance expanding, Brazil is a market well suited for WaterCredit.


In an extensive study, McKinsey identified Brazil as a top priority country for the expansion of WaterCredit. In 2014, conducted a market assessment in Brazil, which informed our country strategy for WaterCredit implementation. We are currently identifying target geographies, developing our engagement strategy and talking with potential local partners in preparation for launching WaterCredit programs.

In 2017, will certify financial institution partners in Brazil with an aim of piloting WaterCredit in 2018.


Updated January 2017 program data through September 2016