In relation to recent articles in the media about the water quality of the Doce River basin, the Renova Foundation clarifies that:
The water and sediment quality are monitored in 92 points along the Doce River basin and coastal region. Besides the laboratory analyses, the monitoring features automated equipment in 22 points in the rivers of the Doce River Basin. Approximately 80 water quality parameters and 40 sediment quality parameters are evaluated. Thanks to this system the Doce River Basin is the most monitored in Brazil. Automatic monitoring is done by a fixed structure at the site of measurement, with equipment that measures the water level and meteorological parameters, such as rainfall and air temperature. Eight of these points are equipped with a probe that hourly measures multiple parameters such as turbidity, acidity, conductivity and water temperature, as well as the existence of microorganisms.
The methodology for collecting and preserving the samples follows the requirements established in the ANA National Sample Collection and Preservation Guide and the analyses are performed in laboratories certified by INMETRO.
All data generated by the monitoring are incorporated into a database certified by the Environmental Agency’s Monitoring Certification Scheme (MCERTS), a UK environmental agency. The certification guarantees the integrity of the information, which can be traced without the possibility of modifying data.
This database is shared with the environmental agencies as determined by the Renova Foundation Qualitative Quantitative Systematic Monitoring Program (PMQQS) for water and sediments. This program was approved by the Inter-Federative Committee (CIF) and developed based on the requirements of the Technical Board of Water Security and Quality, coordinated by the National Water Agency (ANA), with the participation of other environmental agencies, such as the Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama), the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), the State Water Management Institute of Minas Gerais (IGAM), the State Institute for Environment and Water Resources (IEMA) and the State Agency for Water Resources (AGERH).
According to the latest report by the Institute of Water Management of Minas Gerais (IGAM), released in September, the turbidity in the Doce River remains below the legal limit in most data collection stations. None of the samples conducted by IGAM, even right after the passage of tailings plume, resulted in such high concentrations of metals and other substances as recently reported in the media. According to ANA, water from the Doce River Basin can be consumed by the population, after treatment and distribution by municipalities or concessionaires.