Itaipu and Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) are preparing the installation of the International Hydroinformatics Center in Foz do Iguaçu.
The Center will operate at the Itaipu Technological Park (ITP) and its creation was proposed by Unesco in line with its International Hydrological Programme (IHP), a joint effort by many countries to improve the information available on water resources both on the planet's surface and underground.
Unesco's goal is to increase the knowledge about the worldwide hydrological cycle, and to develop and better manage such resources. The IHP fosters the development of scientific and technological bases to generate methods that allow the sensible administration of water resources.
Upon request by Itaipu, since 2003 Unesco has monitored the watershed of the São Francisco Verdadeiro River, one of the most important rivers that supply the plant's reservoir.
Upon evaluating the management methods that Itaipu applies to that watershed pursuant to the Cultivating Good Water program and convinced of the initiative's efficiency in regards to the care provided to the water and environmental sustainability of the activities in the area, Unesco decided to offer it as a reference for the other 70 watersheds monitored by the IHP in the five continents.
Hydroinformatics is a new dimension of water sciences boosted by information technology advances for water modeling and management.
Itaipu's accumulated mastery in the topic resulted in the development of Sig@livre, a digital tool the company uses to geoprocess waters of its interest via free software.
The existence of the International Hydroinformatics Center represents a new perspective for the management of the world's water and benefits all Unesco member countries, especially those which lack access to technologies, such as those in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The International Hydroinformatics Center will involve Brazilian and Paraguayan institutions and governmental agencies. The first international contacts are being made with managers and universities from Latin America and the Caribbean.