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Rio Olympic Waters Will Not Be Cleaned By 2016 Say Officials

20th May 2014
Rio Olympic Waters Will Not Be Cleaned By 2016 Say Officials

#Rio - Rio de Janeiro's dirty water problem will not be solved by the time the Brazilian city hosts the next summer Olympic Games in 2016, as The New York Times reports.

Despite promises by city officials as far back as 2009 that Guanabara Bay and Rio's waterways would be cleaned of sewage and refuse by at least 80%, a recent letter obtained by the Associated Press news agency claims that at the current funding rate it would take a decade to reduce pollution to acceptable levels.

The letter from the office of Rio's state environment secretary to Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo is backed up by an AP analysis of national statistics which shows pollution in the city's waters is far above Brazil's national limits, which are themselves regarded as less stringent when compared to European standards.

As reported last December on Afloat.ie, Irish Olympic sailing coach branded the future Olympic waters of Rio as "absolutely disgusting", comparing Guanabara Bay to a "sewer" where training sailors had to repeatedly stop to disentangle refuse from their rudders.

State authorities are now asking for $70 million to build new river water treatment units to filter out waste before it reaches the bay, though it's expected to reduce current pollution levels by just 50% in time for the first sailing events.

The New York Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Olympic
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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