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Interáguas strengthens water resource management in Brazil

Interáguas strengthens water resource management in Brazil

IICA fostered international technical cooperation throughout the development of the Water Sector Development Program (Interáguas) in Brasil.

Brasilia, 24 September 2018 (IICA). One of our greatest challenges, both now and in the future, is managing the planet’s water resources within the context of a rapidly growing global population and water scarcity in several regions, which is aggravated by the effects of climate change. To this end, it is critical to develop strategies to manage, distribute and utilize water in an efficient manner.

Over the past five years, Brazil has created a series of tools aimed at strengthening the comprehensive management of water resources in the country. These actions have included a thorough evaluation of the National Water Resources Plan (PNRH), the adaptation of initiatives undertaken by the Union of the National Policy on Dam Safety (PNSB), the structuring of state plans for irrigated agriculture and water resources, as well as the development of the guidelines of the National Plan for the Reuse of Treated Sanitary Effluent. Several initiatives have also contributed to expanding knowledge of groundwater environments and their integration with surface water resources. Additionally, the country has facilitated the preparation of new manuals on civil protection and defense as well as the development of studies to assess the feasibility of wind and solar energy use in the integration of the São Francisco river with the basins of the Northern Northeast region of Brazil.

The Water Sector Development Program (Interáguas) was responsible for organizing the abovementioned actions, pursuant to an agreement signed by Brazil and the World Bank in 2012 in order to foster more efficient coordination between public entities involved in the water sector. A “Seminar on the Interáguas Program: Contextualization and Evaluation” will be carried out from September 26 to 27 in Brasilia in order to evaluate the Program’s main outputs and analyze the outlook for its actions.

The Program, which was organized by the ministries of National Integration (MI), Cities (MCid), and the Environment, as well as by the National Water Agency (ANA), was divided into three components: 1) water resource management, 2) water, provision and civil defense and 3) water supply and sanitation. The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the international organization that facilitated the entire process, worked together with the institutions that execute Interáguas to provide technical cooperation and drive the inter-sectoral component, one of the primary areas of focus of the Program.

“The inter-sectoral coordination fostered by Interáguas allowed for addressing, in a comprehensive manner, the issues associated with water resource management. This, in turn, contributed to rationalizing the sector’s public spending with the aim of increasing efficiency in water use and in the provision of related services,” stated Hernán Chiriboga, IICA Representative in Brazil.

These integrated actions facilitated the implementation of projects such as the “Wastewater Atlas: Basin Decontamination,” developed by ANA and MCid. “This initiative contributes to driving coordination between the water and sewage sectors because it presents an assessment of wastewater treatment and collection in all of the country’s municipalities, as well as solutions and the investments required to expand these services,” stated Carlos Perdigão, Coordinator of the Superintendency for Water Resource Planning of ANA.

Tadeu Abicalil, who co-manages the program on behalf of the World Bank, explained that Interáguas “is not a water works project, but rather a knowledge-building, planning and integrated management program, aimed at achieving progress with respect to water safety, which is becoming increasingly relevant in the country.”

Other projects were developed together with state governments, including the Paraná Groundwater Charter, the Water Resources Plan of the State of Goiás and the Master Plan for Irrigated Agriculture of the Federal District. Several civil society representatives and other stakeholders played a valuable role in conducting the ecological/economic macro-zoning of the São Francisco river’s hydrological basin, while sector professionals contributed to generating and disseminating knowledge related to the auditing and certification of basic sanitation services. “Before Interáguas, training actions in the field of regulations were virtually non-existent,” stated Alexandre Godeiro, Senior Specialist in Infrastructure at MCid.

“The studies conducted by Interáguas are very important in order to guarantee the water supply and, above all, to foster more responsible, sustainable water consumption,” stated Rafael Ribeiro Silveira, General Coordinator of Engineering and Studies at the Water Infrastructure Secretariat of MI.

According to Hernán Chiriboga, “the Program lays the foundation to enable public and private sectors to engage in dialogue and make joint decisions, based on solid scientific and technical studies.” He added that the results of the Interáguas program “underscore the need to make investments in the future and to conduct a series of analyses aimed at capitalizing on the work that has been carried out.”


Seminar on the Interáguas Program: Contextualization and Evaluation

Date: 26 and 27 September 2018

Opening of event: 26 September at 3:30 p. m.

Location: IICA Delegation in Brazil–SHIS QI 05, Chácara 16–Brasilia-DF

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