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Efficient use of water contributes to development, shows Itaipu at WWF
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The efficient use of water in different situations - agriculture, energy production, industry, small businesses and sanitation - is one of the main topics under discussion in the various activities that make up the World Water Forum (WWF), which is being held in Brasilia (DF) until Friday (23). Itaipu Binacional is one of the companies present at the event.
On Wednesday (21) the subject was discussed in a panel that presented different cases on how the promotion of efficiency in the uses of water resources functions as an inducer of sustainable development. The panel brought together representatives of Itaipu, Suez of Brazil, Japan Cooperation Agency (JICA), Sebrae, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Inclam Group (Spain).
Itaipu, represented by the Coordinating Director, Newton Luiz Kaminski, presented several examples on the efficient use of water, beginning with the own generation of energy. Through a synchronized operation between hydrology, maintenance and production areas, the hydroelectric power plant seeks to maximize the use of the water that arrives at the dam.
The result of this operation is in the successive operating records that binacional has been obtaining since 2012, including the best annual production ever recorded, of 103 million megawatts/hour in 2016.
To this are added several measures aimed at water security, such as the maintenance of extensive green areas around the reservoir, actions to correct environmental liabilities in agricultural areas in the surrounding hydrographic basin, readjustment of rural roads, terracing, reuse of water, community suppliers, generation of energy from livestock waste, among others.
“Together, these actions contribute to the correct drainage of rainwater and also to improve soil water retention, as well as to reduce the flow of sediments to the reservoir. This reflects on the development of the territory”, stated Kaminski. “The resources directed to territorial development do not represent investment rather than cost.”
Koji Naito, of JICA, addressed the use of efficient meters as an essential practice for sustainable development. According to him, if the measurement of treated water services is not accurate, this leads to a negative cycle, leading to loss of revenue and reduced investment capacity.
Jordi Pastor, of Inclam, presented the successful initiative of the adoption of Watener, an artificial intelligence system that supports the operation of water distribution with the detection of leakages and reduction of energy consumption. “Before seeking new sources to expand water services, we need to reduce waste”, he stated.
Sebrae Sustentabilidade’s (Sustainability) manager, Suenia Sousa, demonstrated how the 11.6 million small Brazilian companies are important for the country to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (ODS) related to the reduction of misery and unemployment. 
“In 45% of small businesses, water has an impact on the production process. In addition, water represents 6% of costs, while energy, 30%. Therefore, the adoption of sustainable processes such as water reuse is critical”, she stated.
Finally, Jippe Hoogeveen, FAO’s Land and Water Division, introduced the WaPOR system, which monitors the efficiency of water use in agricultural areas by satellite, in order to reduce productivity gaps. “Since agriculture is the main sector in the consumption of water resources, the idea is to produce more food using less water”, he summarized.