As the COVID-19 pandemic sprawled across every continent, ‘hand-washing’ became the official guideline to prevent contagion. In this scenario, governmental and non-governmental actors mobilised to promote the provision of water supply and customer services to the largest number of people. With the imposed isolation, virtual events became the centre of the political debate, bringing to light strategies and challenges to guarantee basic needs, debated within the scope of the federal legislative and executive branches and civil society. The purpose of this article is to explore the discourses produced and the interventions proposed between April and May 2020. In the light of social studies of science and technology and discussions regarding the enactment and production of the state, mapped through the actions of key actors, this ethnography enables us to outline the conflicts of sanitation governance in Brazil.
Key words: Brazil; COVID-19; Sanitation; Ethnography; Institutions