Brazil is brought to a prominent position by its National Water Agency (ANA) and its legislation governing water resources. This is one of the ways the country can make a significant contribution to the discussions at the 8th World Water Forum—to take place from March 18 to 23 in Brasília—said World Water Council President Benedito Braga.
During a public hearing held Thursday (Mar. 8) by the Senate’s Foreign Relations Commission, Braga noted that the Brazilian law served as a source of inspiration for countries like South Africa.
“Our legislation recognizes the water basin as the unit for planning and management, and encourages participatory administration through committees,” added Braga, who is also sanitation and water resources secretary for in São Paulo state.
While answering questions posed by senators, he mentioned two issues concerning water resources: availability and demand management. “We need a more rational and efficient demand and we must encourage people to reduce use and avoid wastage so we can become efficient, whether it’s in the household or in irrigation. Furthermore, we have to increase the capacity for water storage.”
Braga went on to warn that water has to be stored for later use in months of higher rainfall, adding that the creation of reservoirs should also be considered, as it makes a major impact on the environment, which must be taken into account and mitigated in interventions.
Among the challenges facing Brazil, the head of the World Water Council mentioned the reduction of supply losses. “Today, we lose 30%, 40%, and, in some places, 50% of the water through leakage, illegal connections, and theft. This must be addressed in order to decrease the need for infrastructure,” he stated.
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira