COVID-19 and organisational resilience in Brazil's water sector

Zambrano, Karen Tavares, Imani, Maryam ORCID logoORCID: and Cunha, Davi Gasparini Fernandes (2022) COVID-19 and organisational resilience in Brazil's water sector. Science of The Total Environment, 848. p. 157637. ISSN 1879-1026

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The COVID-19 pandemic required a wide range of adaptations to the way that water sector operated globally. This paper looks into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Brazilian water sector and evaluates the water sector's organisational resilience from the lens of water professionals. This study uses British Standard (BS 65000:2014)'s Resilience Maturity Scale method to evaluate organisational resilience in water sector under two defined scenarios of before and during the pandemic. For this purpose, the self-assessment framework developed by Southern Water in the United Kingdom (based on BS 65000:2014), comprising of the core resilience elements of Direction, Awareness, Alignment, Learning, Strengthening, and Assurance, are used for evaluations. A qualitative-quantitative surveying method is used for data collection. A total of 14 responses to the whole questionnaire were received from May 2021 to August 2021, each representing one water company in Brazil (four local companies and ten state-owned ones). The analyses identified COVID-19 as a threat multiplier particularly to already existing financial challenges due to the pre-existing threats in water sector. Bad debt and the COVID-19 emergency measures are recognised as the main challenges by 21 % and 14 % of the survey respondents. The state-owned and local companies scored an almost similar maturity level 3, 35 % and 34 % respectively, while the local companies scored much lower at maturity level 4 i.e., 26 % as opposed to 47 % in state-owned sector. This indicates that COVID-19 has a greater impact on local companies and the needs to increase preparedness. This study replicates an international experience to raise awareness on water sector's resiliency in Brazil and how it can be improved to withstand future external shocks. It sheds light on how and what existing challenges can be exacerbated facing a global shock and proposes opportunities for improvement of resilience maturity in water sector in Brazil.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Source info: STOTEN-D-22-09903
Keywords: COVID-19, Organisational resilience, Pandemic, Resilience maturity, Water sector
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Engineering
COVID-19 Research Collection
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2022 11:06
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2022 11:06

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