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The Current Situation

The head of the Rainha River is located at Ponta das Andorinhas, one of the peaks of the Carioca Mountain Range in the Tijuca Massif, and it continues through the entire neighborhood of Gávea, bisecting PUC-Rio, and flowing through various schools, parks, and slums, before it finally empties into the beach of Leblon. Rainha is canalized into multiple underground pipes in which various communities have created illegal sewage connections. Water monitoring tests have shown that this has caused high levels of contamination in the river, which in turn causes health disparities in local flora and fauna . All of  this sewage and other harmful contaminants polluting the river are flowing directly into the beautiful beach of Leblon, where hundreds of people choose to bathe each day, thus causing people suffer from these effects as well.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to mitigate pollution of the Rainha River by integrating the local community and watershed.


Waters of Gávea plans to create a vast social network that is both aware of and engaged in the technical problems found in the local environment. The overall objective is to create a dialogue between the two aspects of the project: the societal realm (the local community) and the technical/scientific realm (the local watershed) in order to clean up the Rainha River and prevent further pollution.

The societal branch will include four main mediums: raising community awareness (through local meetings, awareness workshops, events, and social services), media (reaching out through local journals, websites, pamphlets, and community radio), pilot projects (instigating community gardens, sustainable technology in homes, solid waste treatment, and recovery of degraded areas), and environmental education (professor training, children’s activities, workshops, and books).

The technological/scientific branch will also consist of four different aspects: a geographical database (conducting a socio-environmental census and database mapping), an environmental analysis (examining environmental legislation, land cover and land usage, and geotechnological hazards in urban and economic contexts), diagnoses (of social, economic, and environmental weaknesses and potential adaptation and mitigation of climate change), and monitoring (of water quality, temperature, rainfall, and pressure, land use, and general well-being).

In connecting the social and technological branches, Waters of Gávea will integrate PUC-Rio, local schools, the Gávea, Rocinha, and Parque da Cidade communities, churches, trade officials, Rio de Janeiro City Hall, the state government, and the federal government so as to effectively meet our goal of mitigating pollution in the Rainha River.


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