By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Around 1,500 people are expected on the 26th, 27th and 28th, at Riocentro in Barra da Tijuca, to participate in Rio Water Week, the world’s most important event on water issues, that will be held in Brazil for the first time.
More than 100 specialists from countries such as United States, France, Spain, South Africa and Chile, in addition to Brazilians, will arrive in Rio de Janeiro to debate the the future of water on the planet.
Topics such as governance and planning; efficient management; education and training; financing; and climate changes will be covered. Including lectures focused on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #6: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all by 2030.
The Rio Water Week event, that in Brazil will be coordinated by the Brazilian Association of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering (ABES), already takes place in countries like Sweden and Singapore.
“We are adapting some of the aspects we find positive in the organization and planning of the World Water Forum and in previous Water Weeks. Among them, I would highlight a very relevant participation of partner organizations, that will coordinate the 65 sessions of the event”, says ABES’ national VP, Carlos Alberto Rosito, ambassador of the event.
Professionals, universities, companies and global organizations intend to cover existing challenges, public policies and solutions and technologies in Brazil and the world.
Among the lecturers, Dhesigen Naidoo, from the Water Research Commission of South Africa; Enrique Cabrera, Spanish, expert and member of the International Water Association (IWA); Paula Kehoe, American, director of Water Resources at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission; and the Brazilians Jorge Luiz Briard, president of Cedae, and Karla Bertocco Trindade, president of Sabesp.
Rio is particularly challenged by illegal drainage systems, faulty sewage connections and greywater flowing into the Guanabara Bay and the Atlantic Ocean are the cause of many of the water pollution problems.
To combat this, Rio state government organizations, in partnership with city government agencies created the Sena Limpa in 2012, along with many other programs attempted over the years.
In March the 8th World Water Forum was held in Brazil’s capital Brasilia with President Temer and eleven other heads of state gathering to discuss the sustainable use of water resources around the world.
More than 40,000 participants from over 178 countries are expected to attend the more than three hundred discussions and panels. “Access to water and sanitation is closely linked to our ability to grow sustainably,” said President Michel Temer during the opening ceremony.